Services have resumed at the new Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital following a week-long stoppage due to “environmental issues.”
An Oct. 7 press release disclosed hospital officials had “received reports of rodents in and around the facility.” Ainsley Nelson, Covenant Health spokesperson in Lubbock, Texas, wrote the decision was made to “reduce services beginning immediately, until we can provide a healthy and safe environment for our patients, visitors and caregivers.”
A routine inspection discovered low levels of chlorine in the hospital’s water. Chlorine is added to the water by the City of Hobbs to remove bacteria and other contaminants. Low chlorine levels can make the water unsuitable for consumption or use in cleaning.
The Oct. 7 release also noted “reports of rodents in and around the facility,” Nelson wrote. Thursday’s release said the Covenant Health “facilities team is continuing to search for points of entry and implemented a robust extermination plan to continue removing any signs of rodents from the premises.”
While working on the issues, the emergency room at the hospital on Lovington Highway and Millen Drive in Hobbs was receiving patients for evaluation, the Oct. 7 release said. Patients needing additional care were not admitted however, instead being transferred to other hospitals in Lovington and Seminole or Denver City in Texas.
On Thursday, a subsequent press release announced the reopening, saying the hospital had contracted with an unspecified “water management company to ensure water is safe for consumption and use in a hospital setting.” As of Thursday, the hospital was “within the state of New Mexico water quality testing guidelines.” the release said.
Calls and emails, both to the local hospital spokesperson and to officials at the Lubbock hospital system, requesting additional information on the mitigation efforts and the potential impact of the low chlorine levels in the water prior to its being discovered were not returned as of press time Saturday.