Health Care

St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital Lifts Lockdown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Operations are resuming at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital following a search for a robbery suspect that had the hospital in lockdown for more than an hour.

“Operations have resumed as normal,” spokeswoman Carrie Kandes said this afternoon.

Around 1:30 p.m., U.S. marshals stationed in the Mahoning Valley, in conjunction with local law enforcement, engaged Mercy Health-Youngstown Police Department to help locate a suspect in a recent armed robbery, Kandes said. The hospital was identified as a potential location for the suspect and a room-by-room search ensued.

The all-clear signal was given at 2:47 p.m., she reported. The search did not result in the apprehension of the suspect.

“Patients, visitors, employees and physicians can now enter and exit the hospital per normal daytime access protocols,” she said.

Mercy Health, which operates the hospital, extended its gratitude to its police department and local law enforcement partners “for their service and protection,” as well as to members of the hospital community “for their cooperation and patience throughout the search.” 

Kandes could not say why the hospital was identified as the potential location for the suspect, and referred further questions regarding the investigation, which is ongoing, to the U.S. Marshals’ office. No one was available for comment at the office this afternoon.

She also could not quantify the impact the lockdown had on hospital operations. “This is a busy hospital, so we had patients of course in the emergency center and coming in for procedures or testing,” so that activity was affected, she acknowledged. 

Per emergency protocols, the hospital was placed on lockdown to ensure the safety of patients, visitors, employees and physicians as the room-by-room search was conducted.

Individuals in the hospital were instructed to close and lock their doors and shelter in place until they receive an all-clear command. The hospital was urging visitors as well as patients with scheduled procedures to avoid the hospital campus. 

Hospital employees and care providers who are scheduled for afternoon shifts, which begin at 3 p.m. for most, were instructed to report to the Family Health Center until the all-clear command was issued. After the all-clear order was issued, those employees were relocated into the hospital. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.