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Altru Expands COVID-19 Bed Capacity

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Grand Forks, N.D. – Due to an increased number of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization, Altru Health System has expanded its capacity to care for general medical COVID-19 patients. The expansion of this bed capacity is part of a pre-planned strategy to accommodate higher numbers of COVID-19 patients.

“This expansion is part of Altru’s Covid-19 plan,” shares Janice Hamscher, Chief Nursing Officer at Altru. “The expansion of this unit is fluid and as our numbers decrease we will adjust our capacity accordingly. Given the fluctuations, we’ve seen in numbers and shorter hospital stays, this could happen within a few days.”

Altru’s main COVID units include an ICU unit with seven beds and a general medical unit with 14 beds. The additional unit adds 14 beds designated for COVID-19 patients. Currently, there is no need to expand the COVID ICU unit.

“The majority of the patients we’ve cared for in the hospital, especially in recent months, have not required critical care and can be cared for on our general medical floor,” shares Hamscher. “With a greater understanding of the illness across the world, treatments have improved and many patients require short stays in the hospital.”

The increase in hospitalized patients comes after several weeks of increased overall positive cases in North Dakota and our region.

“While Altru has plans in place to manage the care of COVID-19, this is a reminder of the importance to practice safe habits to slow the spread of COVID-19,” adds Hamscher. “The City of Grand Forks’ mask mandate is one important step to assist in mitigation, it’s also important for all residents to act responsibly – avoid large gatherings, wear masks and call our hotline if you experience any symptoms. These actions will help to slow the spread and aid in reducing the number of patients requiring hospitalization.”

Altru’s COVID-19 hotline is 701.780.6358. It is available 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week.

About Altru Health System

Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru Health System is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice with an acute care hospital, Level II trauma center, specialty hospital, more than two dozen Grand Forks, and regional practice locations, and a large home care network. Altru Health System was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise to the patients we serve. For more information, visit