With her due date fast approaching, Kelly McCarty packed a bag with nursing tops, a robe, slippers and granola bars. Last week’s ultrasound, she said, showed “this baby is head down and ready to go.”
But the new coronavirus has thrown her a curveball, bouncing her and about 140 other expectant moms from their first-choice hospital to another 30 minutes away. The birth unit at the Edmonds, Washington, hospital is needed for COVID-19.
With capacity stretched thin, U.S. hospitals are rushing to find beds for a coming flood of patients, opening older closed hospitals, turning single rooms into doubles and re-purposing other medical buildings.