A sign leading to the emergency department at Dixie Regional Medical Center was seen on February 13, 2020 in St. George, Utah. | Photo by Chris Reed
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ̵1; One of Utah’s largest hospitals has no beds left in its intensive care unit because the governor announced an unstable increase in the number of coronavirus cases lasting a week. Meanwhile, although the Dixie Regional Medical Center has not yet had to activate its intensive care, South Utah has reached a one-day high for new infections for the second time this week, with another 92 people infected with COVID-19.
It was headed by St. George, which, with 53 days of the most infections in the state in cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants, said the Utah Department of Health.
This week, the University of Utah Health had to install extra intensive care beds for doctors and nurses who work overtime to care for critically ill patients, as the department has reached 104% capacity, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Russell Vinik.
“We have cut wherever we can, but it is unstable,” he said. “We are very concerned about the flu season, especially if people do not get vaccinated. We can’t get another blow. “
The number of residents of Southern Utah hospitalized with the virus decreased on Saturday, according to Southwest Utah Department of Health. However, over the past few days, Dixie Regional Medical Center, which also treats COVID-19 patients outside of Southern Utah, has had more total coronavirus patients than the number of intensive care beds in the facility.
However, Dixie Regional spokeswoman Terry Draper said the hospital had not yet activated its intensive care unit, which would increase available intensive care beds from 32 to 89.
“No, we did not switch to intensive care. But at the moment, health care resources are strained due to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and subsequent hospitalizations, which increases the number of patients in our intensive care units, ”said Draper. “It’s important to remember that we continue to care for many patients who are not on COVID, and they also need a high level of resuscitation care.”
Draper said doctors, nurses and others who care for them need community help.
“Again, we urge the community to stand with us, disguise themselves, maintain social distance, wash their hands often and stay home if they are sick,” Draper said. “Our caregivers and patients across the community need your support to reduce the transmission of this virus.”
Health officials again reported an almost record incidence of the new coronavirus on Saturday, which they said hospitalizations could continue to rise.
Utah health officials reported nearly 1,500 new cases on Friday and an additional 1,340 on Saturday, which Governor Gary Herbert called “sobering up” during the week’s rise in new cases. Herbert again urged people to wear masks and practice social distance.
Doctors like Vinik are also worried about the upcoming holiday season, when cold temperatures, combined with more people gathering indoors, could mean a further spread of the pandemic. Hospitals in the state worked at the level of 73%.
Herbert did not issue a nationwide mandate, but earlier this week he unveiled a new plan that automatically requires face coverage in high-gear counties, and over the next two weeks masks became mandatory in Washington, DC, and Garfield counties. Herbert warned on Friday that more areas could face new restrictions if the number of cases is not controlled.
“This is vital so that our health care system is not overloaded,” Herbert said in a statement.
St. George’s weekend news editor / reporter Chris Reed contributed to this story.
COVID-19 information resources
St. George’s News made every effort to ensure that the information in this story was accurate at the time of writing. However, as the situation and science around the coronavirus continue to evolve, some data may have changed.
We invite you to read the resources below to get up-to-date information and resources.
Coronavirus in Southern Utah (as of October 17, 2020, average in parentheses in seven days)
Positive tests for COVID-19: 5252 (61.4 new infections per day for seven days, falling)
- Washington County: 4,145 (50.5 per day, down)
- Iron County: 870 (6.6 per day, growth)
- Kane County: 93 (0.7 per day, rising)
- County Garfield: 82 (1.9 per day, declining)
- Beaver County: 62 (1.6 per day, declining)
Death: 45 (0.6 per day, falls)
- Washington County: 38
- Iron County: 3
- County Garfield: 3
- Kane County: 1
Hospitalized: 23 (falling)
Restored: 4,235 th most common
The current average is seven days in Utah: 1222 (rising)
Southern Utah with a high level of transmission (requires masks, fees up to 10 or less): Garfield (18.1% positive tests, 472.4 per 100,000 cases)
Southern Utah at moderate transmission (masks required, fees before October 10 or less): Washington (12.6% positive tests, 327.9 per 100,000 cases), iron (8.3% positive tests, 153.5 per 100,000 cases)
Southern Utah with low transmission (recommended masks, fees up to 50 or less): Beaver (7.1% positive tests, 197.6 per 100,000 cases), Kane (6.5% positive tests, 90.8 per 100,000 cases)
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