COVID-19: Emergency Measures at Hadassah Hospital

March 17, 2020

COVID-19: Emergency Measures at Hadassah Hospital

Over the past few days, many in our Hadassah family have reached out to see how they can help, proud to know that in our names, Hadassah is doing all we can to bring compassion and healing during a time of extreme uncertainty. We are so lucky to be blessed with our strong, caring Hadassah community. Ensuring the safety of our families, our communities and our world is the long-held mission of our organization.

For this reason, as the world struggles to control the spread of COVID-19, we are so proud of the leadership role that our Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem has taken and the contributions it is making to the health of the people of Israel. As we have already shared with you, Hadassah was chosen by the Government of Israel as one of select few hospitals to treat coronavirus patients and, only this week, has been asked to dramatically expand its services. This trust is a testament to the value that we add to the health system of Israel.Hadassah Ein Kerem has prepared two areas in the Round Building for patients who test positive for coronavirus, as reported to us by our Director General:

"The main area is located on the 5th floor, which was already in process of demolition in advance of the new renovations of the Round Building. The area is locked, and entry is allowed only by authorized medical staff. The department is staffed by a skeletal team of nurses, as well as a physician, as required. The medical team is protected from head-to-toe and is doing exceptional work. The second area is for patients who are in critical condition and is located on the 8th floor, where the old Cardiac Intensive Care Unit was situated. Here, too, the area is hermetically sealed so that no one can inadvertently enter."

Although we hope and pray that our facilities and expertise will not need to accommodate a continuous influx of patients coming to Ein Kerem, we expect that Hadassah will have to treat additional cases. We ask you now, as someone who deeply cares about the fate of Israel and all its people — Jews, Arabs, Druse, Muslims and Christians — more than ever before, to help us ensure that our medical teams have everything they need to continue to treat all who walk through our doors.

Please be as generous as you can with your special gift. Your contribution will help our top-tier clinical teams continue to perform heroic deeds and help HMO meet increased demand during this period of crisis. Your generosity is much needed and deeply appreciated.

Please stay strong and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Thank you again!

With Pride, Passion and Purpose,

Rhoda Smolow Signature
Rhoda Smolow
Hadassah National President

Janice Weinman Signature
Janice Weinman
CEO/Executive Director


Top of the news is that the Ministry of Health's Central Laboratory, located at Sheba Hospital has been shut down as the Assistant Head of the Department was diagnosed with COVID-19. The Ministry of Health was in touch with Prof. Dana Wolf, Head of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Hadassah, and asked that Hadassah replace the Central Laboratory of the State of Israel. Hadassah immediately responded to the request. We have recruited the assistance of all of our scientists and laboratory workers to fill the void left by the Central Laboratory of the State of Israel.

We have recruited volunteers, mainly doctoral students from the sciences, who will work three shifts a day (including nights and weekends) to double and even triple the number of tests we can perform.

Until yesterday, the Central Laboratory performed approximately 480 tests a day. We are trying to close the gap that has been created. To reach this goal, this morning a new robot was put into operation, in addition to PCR (polymerase chain reaction) equipment, needed for the tests, which was recruited from research laboratories. With the assistance of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a new area was built to collect the biological materials and then process and neutralize them through automatic systems.

Hadassah once again turned to the Ministry of Health with a request to expand screening in the general population and perform a minimum of 25,000 tests a day to minimize the possibility that home quarantine will cause coronavirus infected individuals to infect their family members, as well as to minimize its infiltration into the medical systems or other sensitive security systems.