Providence hospital scales back care 1 week after opening

Covenant Health Hobbs (N.M.) Hospital is temporarily scaling back services and conducting an internal review after detecting rodent and water quality issues at the facility, which opened Sept. 28.

During a routine inspection of the water system, hospital officials found abnormally low levels of chlorine. Adequate levels are needed to ensure the water does not carry harmful bacteria and is safe to drink or use for cleaning. Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital is working with a water management company to address the issue, the organization said in an Oct. 7 statement

The 201-bed hospital, which was built on previously undeveloped land, has also received reports of rodents in or around the facility. Leaders said they're working to seal all points of entry in the hospital.

"With new construction, these issues are not unusual, but out of an abundance of caution, we're taking immediate action," Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital said. "We have made the decision to reduce services, beginning immediately, until we can provide a healthy and safe environment for our patients, visitors and caregivers."

The hospital's emergency department is still accepting patients, but some may need to be transferred to nearby hospitals if additional care is needed. The hospital said the internal review is expected to take several days. 

Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital is part of Renton, Wash.-based Providence.

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