Isolation Units Balance Care and Safety

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By News Team on March 20, 2020

The novel coronavirus made its appearance in Virginia several weeks before the first patient in our region was diagnosed with COVID-19.
During that period, Carilion Clinic’s leaders and medical teams have been dedicated to every aspect of preparations to care for COVID-19 patients while protecting their care team and other patients and staff.
A vital component of those preparations has been creating a special intensive care unit at Carilion hospitals to quarantine patients who have potential or confirmed COVID-19.
Brandie Bailey, D.N.P., is the intensive care unit director at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. She and Philip Prescott, senior director of Environment of Care and Safety throughout Carilion Clinic, explained the unique features of an isolation unit or room:

  • While a room is in isolation, the doors to the room remain shut as much as possible, with entry and exit occurring through an anteroom
  • The air that is removed from the room is HEPA-filtered (high-efficiency particulate air; HEPA filtration systems effectively capture and remove airborne particles, microorganisms and other contaminants)
  • A negative-pressure air handling system prevents the unit’s HEPA-filtered air from spreading to other parts of the hospital
  • Each isolation room has a display on the outside of the room that allows health care providers and engineering to monitor the room’s air pressure

In addition, Carilion staff follow strict protocols that limit access to those who are providing direct care, maintaining a room’s or a unit’s safe, secure environment. And all staff who interact with potential COVID-19 patients use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Carilion‘s Emergency Department is also equipped with negative-pressure areas, and a dedicated COVID-19 testing site is currently in development.
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And remember that the most important way to protect ourselves and our communities is to prevent the spread of coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Practice social distancing at all times
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Call your primary care provider if you experience a cough and fever together
Carilion Clinic message saying wash your hands and stay home when you are sick

Visit for up-to-date information about our response to COVID-19. Call our Community Hotline for general questions about symptoms, resources, guidelines and more,

COVID-19 Community Hotline

Monday - Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Do not call the Community Hotline to make appointments, or to request testing or test results. For information about COVID-19 and your personal health, talk with your primary care provider