As the COVID-19 virus continues to escalate as a public health risk in New Hampshire, NHTI and the Community College System of NH have been actively working with local and state officials to stand up an alternate care site (ACS) in Concord on the NHTI campus. The ACS is not intended to be an independent and stand-alone medical facility; it will be an extension of Concord Hospital, Lakes Region and Franklin Hospitals, and the Capital Area Public Health Network, with operational support from DHHS and the NH National Guard. The goal of the site is to provide space, if necessary, for COVID-19 positive patients who do not require acute care, so that hospitals can preserve their capacity for patients who do need a higher level of care.
- The ACS will be located in the following NHTI locations: Sweeney Hall, the Wellness Center, Student Center, and Langley Hall.
- The ACS is not currently active and will only be used if necessary, if the hospitals reach a level of capacity that requires its use.
- If needed, the site can hold up to 300 patients.
While we hope this site does not have to become operational, we stand ready, as a community partner, to provide support and work with these teams during these difficult times.
In order to protect the NHTI community, access to certain areas of campus will be restricted and only approved and credentialed personnel may enter these areas. Areas that will have restricted access as of March 30 will include: Sweeney Hall (including the gymnasium/wellness center and student center), and Langley Hall. The library/learning commons will also be closed due to proximity, but will not be utilized as part of the ACS.
The south side of campus – starting at the Farnum/System Office end of the quad and including the System office, Farnum, Little Hall, MacRury Hall, Grappone Hall, and other buildings and areas south – will not be impacted and access will remain as normal. There will be some changes to traffic patterns within the campus and to parking areas available for general use. If this site becomes activated, there will be traffic control and security on a 24/7 basis to ensure anyone coming onto campus will know where they can drive and park. The ACS will not be a walk-in facility; any patients who come here would be transported by the partner hospitals.
NHTI students are finishing the term online, with very limited campus-based activity that is confined to the south side of campus, and most employees are working remotely, so the space was available, and we were willing and able to support the larger community.
NHTI and CCSNH staff will be providing support and helping to coordinate with the providers. This includes such assistance as traffic control, site support and logistics, technology services and security (in partnership with State Police to supplement NHTI security). We will also continue to provide communications to the college, system and broader community as circumstances evolve.
Preparation of the ACS included:
- Identification of spaces suitable for clinical care and support functions
- Enhancing IT infrastructure such as wireless networks, phone and fax lines
- Securing additional generator, HVAC, electrical and other services to meet ACS utilization
- Securing numerous supply chain elements to accommodate a population of patients, clinicians and support staff
- Ensuring appropriate controls over areas that will serve medical and ancillary support needs
- Ensuring intensive, regular cleaning and access protocols to maintain safety of the environment
- Developing SOP and communications protocols to keep stakeholders informed and ensure partners have necessary information at all times
All medical operations are being directed and managed by the hospital partners.