Atrium Health Sets Up Mobile Hospital In Pineville

CHARLOTTE, NC – Mecklenburg County Health Department vaccine appointments are booked through the first three weeks of February. The reservations were full within hours of their opening. 

As the vaccine roll out slowly continues, Atrium hospital is preparing to treat Mecklenburg County patients outside hospital walls for the first time since the pandemic began.

“We are continuing to see increasing numbers, however, we are seeing a plateau over the last seven to ten days,” said Alicia Campbell, an Atrium Health VP.

She says the mobile hospital unit now stationed outside the Pineville location will treat non-COVID, non-emergency patients. The goal is to free up more capacity inside. 

“We’ve been working closely with our state to expand our capacity not only at Pineville, but across our system to ensure we can expand and contract based upon the needs of COVID volume,” said Campbell. 

Campbell says she is encouraged by the leveling numbers and increase in vaccinations. 

“It’s knowing that with vaccinations coming. There is an end to the COVID pandemic. So that’s really what we’re holding on to,” said Campbell.

But the roll out is taking time. 

“It will be a while before the vaccine really has an impact on our community. We have to vaccinate a whole lot more people,” said Dr. Gibbie Harris, the Mecklenburg County Health Director. 

Harris expressed frustration to the county commissioners last night. They’re struggling to keep track of who is getting vaccinated and where they’re from. Access to that data is held at the state and federal level. 

“That will allow us to understand who is receiving the vaccine and where we are falling short to address the needs of our most disenfranchised and vulnerable populations,” said Harris.

Right now, anyone over 65 can get an appointment, despite where they live.  

“These vaccines are paid for by the federal government. They’re not supposed to be limited to that one location or one county,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the State Health director. 

Dr. Cohen says they share the same urgency to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Limited supply and technology barriers continue to be the squeeze points in slowing things down.