TBHC in the NY Times: Courage Inside a Brooklyn Hospital Confronting Coronavirus
The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) continues to treat patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. TBHC is diligently following all CDC and NYDOH guidelines to keep patients, staff and our community as safe as possible during these challenging times. We are incredibly grateful to our staff at all levels who are working around the clock.
We are working closely with local, state and federal public health agencies, as well as collaboratively with our colleagues at other area hospitals to ensure that The Brooklyn Hospital Center is prepared. Our clinicians within the hospital and in the community have clear up-to-date protocols on how to handle potential cases, including recognizing, isolating, testing and treating such patients. Rest assured, our emergency medicine, infectious disease, ambulatory care and nursing staff are monitoring the situation not day by day, but rather hour by hour.
Please visit this page for updates on how TBHC is adapting its operations during this pandemic. Follow us here, through the link above, and on all our social media platforms for ongoing practical information to keep you and your family safe.
We are always — and more than ever now — committed to #KeepingBrooklynHealthy.
UPDATES — MARCH 31, 2020: This unprecedented crisis calls for extraordinary measures and absolute transparency. Following protocols established by public health officials, TBHC has accepted, from the New York City Office of Emergency Management, a refrigerated truck (parked now on Ashland Place) to serve as an ancillary morgue. This is needed to accommodate the tragic spike in deaths, placing a strain on the entire system of care — from hospitals to funeral homes. Grieving families cannot quickly make arrangements, and their loved ones who have passed are remaining in hospitals longer, thus the need for this accommodation. We ask our community to be respectful during this time as we remain — more than ever — committed to Keeping Brooklyn Healthy.
UPDATES — MARCH 28, 2020: There is a lot of confusion surrounding the coronavirus. One thing we believe: every healthcare worker everywhere is doing her/his best during this crisis and deserves our applause. You may have seen footage from an unnamed “Brooklyn hospital” showing patients on the floor. This video is NOT from The Brooklyn Hospital Center. In fact, after some research, it appears to be from a hospital in Spain. A reminder to us all: fact-check stray news. We remain committed to being transparent with our community during this crisis.
About the Coronavirus Community Hotline: 718-250-8199
A telemedicine community hotline has been put in place. If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you can now be pre-screened on the phone. Call us at 718-250-8199 from 9 am to 6 pm daily.
About the tent in front of our ER/ED
TBHC has installed a tent in front of the Emergency Room. Starting Thursday, March 19, 2020, patients who believe they have COVID-19 and who meet criteria will be pre-screened there. The tent opens at 8 am and the line for registration will close at 7 pm.
As of March 23, 2020, by order of the NYC Department of Health, COVID-19 Advisory #8, The Brooklyn Hospital Center will adhere to the following updated protocols:
- We will continue to pre-screen community members who present symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, shortness of breath, new cough, weakness).
- Upon evaluation, testing for COVID-19 will ONLY be permitted for patients who display severe symptoms and are candidates to be admitted to the hospital.
About updated visiting hours and access to the hospital
Change in hours of visitation and visitor restriction (as of March 20, 2020)
By order of the New York State Department of Health,
ALL HOSPITALS MUST SUSPEND VISITATION
The Brooklyn Hospital Center may grant a few exceptions to an individual patient visitor for the following:
- One (1) visitor who is essential to care of the patient and/or medically necessary
- Imminent end-of-life situation
- Caregiver for a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patient
- Caregiver for a Pediatric patient (15 years and younger)
- Supporting partner in Labor and Delivery
WHEN ALLOWED, VISITORS MUST:
Be screened for symptoms and potential exposure to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding
In addition to the new visiting hours, please note that we are only leaving three entryways to the hospital open:
- The main lobby on 121 DeKalb Avenue
- The Maynard building lobby at 240 Willoughby Street
- The ED entrance
All incoming visitors and patients will be screened at these three entry points.
Patients who have appointments at the on-site facilities in the main hospital (Ambulatory Care Center, Women's Health Center, Children's Health Center, PATH, dental) are to continue on to their respective destinations via the main 121 DeKalb door. Maynard patients are to only access that building through the 240 Willoughby Street entrance and are to remain in the Maynard building. Note: The bridge between the main hospital and Maynard will be CLOSED.
Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
where New Yorkers with questions about the virus can speak with public health experts in their preferred language.
New Yorkers can also text COVID to 692-692 to get regular updates on the latest developments.