Now a COVID-19 specialty facility, new patients begin moving in to transformed Bethesda Hospital

In just days, 50 patients were moved out of St. Paul’s Bethesda Hospital and the building was transformed into a COVID-19 specific treatment facility.

The hospital went from zero ICU beds to 35 isolated rooms with ventilators available for all 35 patients who might need them to save their lives.

Thursday, just hours before patients were scheduled to move in, the medical team demonstrated how to put on and take off their personal protective equipment.

M Health Fairview staff are assessing patients with the virus at its other facilities and deciding which ones will be best served by moving to what is now being called “Bethesda-COV” for their ongoing care.

Bethesda-COV can handle a total of 90 patients, including the 35 intensive care units.

COVID-19 patients are expected to begin arriving Thursday afternoon. At the outset, the hospital will be for COVID-19 patients who are already in the M Health Fairview system, but that could change depending on the illness spike across the Twin Cities metro region.