Sign to the emergency room at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah on February 13, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reid
Salt Lake City (AP) – One of Utah’s largest hospitals has no beds left in its regular intensive care unit because the state’s weekly increase in corona virus cases is “unsustainable,” the governor said. Meanwhile, Dixie Regional Medical Center has yet to activate its Rise ICU, but southern Utah reached a one-day high for new infections with 92 more people infected with COVID-19 for the second time this week.
Led by St. George, the Utah Department of Health reported Saturday that 53 people in cities with a population of less than 100,000 had new infections in the state.
Utah Health University had to set up extra ICU beds by doctors and nurses, working extra hours to care for its critically ill patients this week because the unit has reached 104% capacity, said Chief Medical Officer Dr Russell Winnick.
“We cut as little as we could, but it was dangerous,” he said. “We are very concerned about the flu period, especially if people are not vaccinated. We can’t take another win. “
The number of South Utah residents admitted to hospital by the virus dropped Saturday Southwest Utah Department of Public Health. However, over the past few days, the Dixie Regional Medical Center, which handles COVID-19 patients across southern Utah, has more overall corona virus patients than the number of ICU beds in this facility.
Nonetheless, Dixie regional spokesman Terry Dropper said the hospital has not yet activated its Rise ICU, which will expand the available intensive care beds from 32 to 89.
“No, we have not expanded to one ICU. But with a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and subsequent hospitalization, statewide health care resources are dwindling, adding to the high number of patients in our ICUs,” Draper said. “It is important to remember that we continue to care for many non-Govt patients who require high levels of ICU care.”
Dropper said the doctors, nurses and other caregivers at the hospital need the help of the community.
“Again, we invite the community to stand with us, wear a mask, do community distance properly, wash hands frequently, and stay home if sick,” Dropper said. “Our caregivers and patients across the community need your support to reduce the spread of this virus.”
Health officials on Saturday recorded a record level of new corona virus cases nationwide, which means hospital admissions are likely to continue to rise.
Utah health officials reported nearly 1,500 new cases on Friday, and an additional 1,340 on Saturday, with the government calling Gary Herbert “sober” in several new cases each week. Herbert again encouraged people to wear masks and adhere to social distance.
Doctors like Winnick are also worried about the upcoming holiday season, where colder temperatures could mean more outbreaks as more people gather at home. Statewide hospitals are 73% efficient.
Herbert did not issue a statewide mask order, but earlier this week he was one New project that will require automatic face masks in the new Transmission CountyS and for the next two weeks Washington has made masks mandatory in the Iron and Garfield districts. Herbert warned Friday that more areas could face new restrictions if case numbers are not brought under control.
“It’s very important to make sure our health system isn’t overcrowded,” Herbert said in a statement.
St. George News Weekend Editor / Reporter Chris Reed contributed to this story.
COVID-19 Information Resources
St. George News made every effort to ensure that the information in this story was accurate at the time it was written. However, some data may have changed as the situation and science surrounding the corona virus continues to evolve.
We invite you to check out the sources below for updated information and resources.
South Utah Corona virus count (seven-day average in parentheses, as of October 17, 2020)
Positive COVID-19 tests: 5,252 (61.4 new infections per day, drop in seven days)
- Washington County: 4,145 (50.5 per day, dropout)
- Iron County: 870 (6.6 per day, rising)
- Kane County: 93 (0.7 per day, rising)
- Garfield County: 82 (1.9 per day, dropout)
- Beaver County: 62 (1.6 per day, dropout)
Casualties: 45 (0.6 per day, dropout)
- Washington County: 38
- Iron County: 3
- Garfield County: 3
- Kane County: 1
Was admitted to the hospital: 23 (Abandonment)
The current Utah seven-day average: 1,222 (rising)
Southern Utah districts with high transfer levels (masks required, meetings 10 or less): Garfield (18.1% positive tests, 472.4 per 100,000 case rate)
Southern Utah Districts with moderate transfer levels (masks required, meetings 10 or less until Oct. 29): Washington (12.6% positive tests, 327.9 per 100,000 case rate), Iron (8.3% positive tests, 153.5 per 100,000 case rate)
Southern Utah districts with low transfer levels (masks recommended, meetings 50 or fewer): Beaver (7.1% positive tests, 197.6 per 100,000 case rate), Kane (6.5% positive tests, 90.8 per 100,000 case rate)
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