The Health Care Authority of Cullman County/ Cullman Regional Board of Directors announced today they have received Emergency Alabama Certificate of Need (CON) approval to add an additional 30 beds to the hospital including 13 additional critical care beds.

During the final months of 2020 and into 2021, Cullman Regional’s Critical Care reached a capacity of 200%, meaning, there were twice as many critical care patients as critical care beds available. This was the highest capacity of any ICU in the United States.

“We want to thank Dr. Swaid and the CON Board for their approval of this expansion project,” Cullman Regional CEO James Clements said. “This project allows us to create a better infrastructure for our clinical team in the event of another surge of COVID patients in the future.”

Construction recently began on the Emergency Department Expansion project to add additional emergency department treatment rooms and dedicated behavioral health space in the Emergency Department. The Emergency CON allows this construction project to be expanded in order to add an additional 30 beds to the medical center.

“Over the past year, our facility has been stretched at times,” said Clements. “This emergency CON allows us to accelerate the renovation and construction process in order to get ahead of any additional COVID patient surges in our future.”

Since March of 2020, Cullman Regional has had over 7,200 confirmed COVID-19 patient days. Although current COVID-19 cases are declining, with the new variants of the virus circulating rapidly, now is the time to prepare for an additional spike in hospitalizations in the not too distant future.

According to an article in the Washington Post on February 10, the new variant first seen in Britain is significantly more transmissible than the older variants. In the United States, if unimpeded, it could drive daily new case counts back to the January peaks of more than 200,000 increasing hospitalizations and deaths too.

For more information about services provided at Cullman Regional, call at (256) 737-2000 or visit online here.