The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a healthcare system in the region to advance to the next stage of their pandemic surge plan. Sanford Health is making the changes to “respond to the expanded need across a broad region,” Sanford Health Fargo President Bryan Nermoe says in a statement to WZFG News.

“As the demand for our services continues to increase, our priority is on our employees and physicians, and making sure they have what they need to care for the people in our state and beyond,” he says. “Our focus remains on providing exceptional care and keeping our staff and patients safe.”

The changes coming because of the advancement to the next stage include reviewing new surgical procedure cases for proper placement, while continuing with surgical procedures that have already been scheduled.

Sanford Health is also working to reassign some of their clinical staff to work in their medical centers across the Fargo area, which could result in some clinical appointments being shifted, Nermoe says.

In addition, Sanford Health Fargo is continuing the have the capacity to transition space within their special care unit to care for COVID-19 patients, while adding more beds to their overall total. On the sixth floor of Sanford’s Broadway Medical Center, 35 beds have been added for COVID-19, with 14 new beds under construction on the eighth floor of Sanford Medical Center Fargo. Nermoe says those beds should be ready within the next two weeks.

“We are fortunate to have the space to continue to meet the rising demand,” he says. “Our surge plan remains on our employees and the critical role they play in meeting the needs of our patients.”