Expanding capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

As health care systems continue to evolve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercy Health has worked collaboratively with the Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, State, County and City elected officials, local health departments and Congressman Tim Ryan to develop and deploy a temporary hospital at the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown.

This temporary site is expected to have the ability to care for more than 250 patients who have tested positive with COVID-19 who require moderate acute care, meaning they don’t require a ventilator. This allows the Intensive Care Unit beds available at Mercy Health — St. Elizabeth Boardman, Mercy Health — St. Joseph Warren and Mercy Health — St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospitals to serve patients requiring more acute care.

“This site will be invaluable in helping to balance our patient load between our traditional hospital walls and this new temporary care site,” said James Kravec, M.D., chief clinical officer at Mercy Health — Youngstown. “We are sharing our patient transfer operations among our local hospitals to further streamline and maximize our ability to get patients the exact level of care they need, when they need it.”

The hospital will be operated by administrators, clinicians and support staff from Mercy Health and the Mercy Health Physician group, with the support of the Ohio National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers.

“The difference between success and failure is preparation. I’m proud to work with Mercy Health, the Ohio National Guard, Mahoning County EMA and Army Corps of Engineers to expand the medical capacity in the Mahoning Valley at such a critical time. I would like to thank Mercy Health for their leadership and everyone involved with this effort, it has truly been a team effort.  Furthermore, I’d like to thank Mayor Tito Brown, the City of Youngstown, local elected officials, and Covelli Centre management for being true pillars of the community and graciously opening their doors to make today’s announcement a reality. We are going to have some tough days ahead, but by working together we will save lives,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.

Visitors will be restricted from visiting this site, but families of admitted patients will have access to virtual visit capabilities.

Mercy Health opened a 24/7 telephone hotline dedicated to addressing public questions about COVID-19 a few weeks ago. This line is dedicated to community members who have questions related to coronavirus, are showing possible symptoms, or may have had exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.  The hotline number is 888-700-9011. It is for non-emergent calls and the public should still call 911 for emergencies.

This Mercy Health COVID-19 hotline is part of an ongoing effort to support our community and provide information and guidance in addition to the newly established flu clinics. These flu clinics are designed to evaluate and treat patients with flu-like symptoms. 

Mercy Health recommends that people who are experiencing flu-like symptoms either call their primary care provider or visit our local flu clinic sites.