Flooding damage at Grady Memorial won't be repaired until October

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Atlanta-based Grady Memorial Hospital, one of Georgia's largest emergency rooms, will operate at a reduced capacity for most of 2020, NPR's affiliate radio station WABE reports. 

After a water pipe burst and flooded 222 inpatient rooms in December, Grady officials initially hoped repairs would take only a few months. Now, however, repairs aren't expected to be complete until October.

"The amount of water that got into those nursing units requires that all the drywall be removed," John Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System, told WABE. "So, those units are all going down to the studs and being completely rebuilt." 

The hospital is currently accepting 80 percent of its average 450 ambulance patients a day, Mr. Haupert said. To expand capacity, the hospital has been using a 30-bed mobile hospital from North Carolina. 

Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare has formally agreed to take some of Grady's diverted patients, with plans to transfer 30 patients to Stonecrest, Ga.-based Emory Hillandale Hospital.

Grady now runs the local emergency call center, directing ambulances to an ER with the capacity to accept patients. Nearby hospitals have reported higher patient volumes, but have not blamed the increase on Grady's reduced capacity. 

Mr. Haupert declined to estimate how much the repair would cost, according to WABE.

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