Joplin area hospital considers keeping COVID isolation units permanently

JOPLIN, Mo. — With COVID cases trending down in the Joplin area, one hospital is looking to the future with the resources it developed during the pandemic.

Freeman Health System is considering keeping the COVID isolation unit permanently.

The idea is to transition it to a general isolation unit, with the focus expanding to handle any patients in need of treatment in isolation. That includes a number of conditions diagnosed in area residents.

“Tuberculosis, influenza, C-Diff infections, MRSA infections, resistant bacterial infections – there’s a number of healthcare, infectious healthcare issues that we would not want a patient to be in a general population. They have to be treated carefully,” said Dr. McNabb, Freeman Health System.

Freeman West had some patients’ rooms capable of isolation prior to 2020 and the surge in coronavirus cases, but developed a more focused isolation unit as the caseload grew.

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