**FILE** University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (Courtesy of umms.org)
**FILE** University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (Courtesy of umms.org)

A “hospital disaster” was declared at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air as coronavirus cases and related hospitalizations threatened to overwhelm the facility.

The University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, which oversees the hospital, said in a recent statement that crisis standards-of-care protocols were put into place to free up care for “as many patients as possible with the staffing they have,” WTOP reported.

The action lets hospital staff streamline processes, modify surgical schedules, make documentation easier and redeploy staffers as needed, the statement said.

Coronavirus cases have jumped by 458% across both University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the University of Maryland Hartford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, with Bel Air hospital experiencing a 733% increase, WTOP reported.

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