Facility-Level Approaches for COVID-19 When Caseload Surpasses Surge Capacity

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Aug;103(2):605-608. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0681. Epub 2020 Jun 26.


As COVID-19 cases continue to increase globally, fragile health systems already facing challenges with health system infrastructure, SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic capacity, and patient isolation capabilities may be left with few options to effectively care for acutely ill patients. Haiti-with only two laboratories that can perform reverse transcriptase PCR for SARS-CoV-2, a paucity of hospital beds, and an exponential increase in cases-provides an example that underpins the need for immediate infrastructure solutions for the crisis. We present two COVID-19 treatment center designs that leverage lessons learned from previous outbreaks of communicable infectious diseases and provide potential solutions when caseload exceeds existing capacity, with and without access to SARS-CoV-2 testing. These designs are intended for settings in which health facilities and testing resources for COVID-19 are surpassed during the pandemic, are adaptable to local conditions and constraints, and mitigate the likelihood of nosocomial transmission while offering an option to care for hospitalized patients.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Facility Design and Construction*
  • Haiti / epidemiology
  • Health Facilities*
  • Health Resources / supply & distribution
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surge Capacity*