Piedmont Hospital opening new tower early for coronavirus

This rendering showed the planned Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital

This rendering showed the planned Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s new Marcus Tower will open four months early — on April 13 — to help treat the surge of coronavirus patients expected this month, the hospital announced Tuesday.

The early opening will add three ICU and acute nursing units to Atlanta’s capacity. This will add a total of 132 additional beds, with 64 designated as critically-needed ICU beds.

The hospital beds could be used for coronavirus patients and also patients who need health care for other illnesses, Piedmont said. The new beds will be spread over the tower’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors.

“By opening this part of the tower early, we are increasing capacity at a critical time when our community needs it the most,” said Dr. Patrick Battey, CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Getting these beds ready for patients who may need them during the COVID-19 outbreak was the right thing to do, and I am proud of the staff at Piedmont and our partners on the project who made it happen.”

The 16-story tower was originally set to open Aug. 1. The healthcare system accelerated the work schedule and deliveries of equipment to make it possible to open early.

“Piedmont exists to serve its communities and there is no greater way that we can serve them than by increasing our capacity with this state-of-the-art facility during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Brown, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare.