Photo courtesy UMMS.

The University of Maryland Capital Region Health has announced the reopening and of the temporary expansion of UM Laurel Medical Center and provided additional details on the future use of the facility in response to COVID-19.

At the direction of Gov. Larry Hogan and in close partnership with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and UM Capital Region Health have reopened UM Laurel Medical Center in order to meet patient demand in Prince George’s County, which as of April 22 had 4,047 cases, 1,035 hospitalizations and 152 deaths, according to the county website.

Under the leadership of CEO Mohan Suntha, UMMS has been engaged in exhaustive preparation to increase bed, staff, and equipment capacity to adapt to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The ultimate goal of this project is to expand capacity by adding 135 additional beds, 35 of which will be in intensive care units, at UM Laurel Medical Center in preparation for the high probability of volume surge due to COVID-19.

The expanded UM Laurel Medical Center is not a community testing clinic and cannot be accessed by general referrals from Primary Care Physicians. Unless directly admitted through the emergency department, walk-ups will not be permitted; patients will be transported to UM Laurel Medical Center through either emergency department or hospital inter-facility referrals.

UM Laurel Medical Center will be staffed by nearly 400 highly-vetted contractual medical professionals/health care workers and will not reduce staff at UM Capital Region Health or other local UMMS facilities.