ALL NEWS

Utah ready to set up temporary COVID-19 hospital, but health officials hope they won’t need it

Oct 12, 2020, 5:20 PM | Updated: 5:25 pm
Utah hospitalization rate...
Photo of the temporary hospital at the South Towne Expo Center as it was when they set it up in April in case hospitals go overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

SANDY, Utah – Between April and June, the state of Utah set up a temporary hospital at The Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy in case COVID-19 overwhelmed the hospitals. 

Even though that did not happen, with record numbers of COVID-19 patients in Utah’s hospitals, health officials say they have already made backup plans. 

Joe Dougherty with the Utah Department of Public Safety says they can set up the temporary hospital, which they are calling an alternate care site, if need be. 

“There are two semis that remain [at The Mountain America Expo Center], so that we can very rapidly set that back up again,” Dougherty says. “The Department of Health also maintains a warehouse with a couple of semis that are pointed out the door, so they are also ready to set up the alternate care site.” 

The hospital would also have a pharmacy on site and could be rebuilt in less than a day. 

Currently, if a hospital is overwhelmed, they can move patients to other hospitals within the same medical system. 

Hospitals also have plans to shuttle patients between different hospitals in the same area. 

The state of Utah has contracts with three long-term care facilities that exclusively deal with COVID-19 patients as a backup to the hospitals.

But Dougherty is urging Utahns to take the threat of hospitals being overwhelmed seriously, and says the temporary hospital should be looked at as “a last resort”. Health officials are hoping they will not need it. 

He says one of the challenges would be getting enough doctors and medical staff quickly. 

“We know that there’s generally a shortage of nursing staff. We know that it’s easy for people to become overwhelmed,” Dougherty says.   

Dougherty says on any given day, 230 people or more are being treated for COVID-19 in Utah’s hospitals, and flu season is coming up. 

The University of Utah recently reported that its intensive care unit was at 95% capacity.

That’s why health officials are urging people to wear a mask, social distance, and take safety precautions. 

“We really have to get this turned around soon so we don’t overwhelm the hospital systems,” Dougherty says.  

 

Related Articles:

https://kslnewsradio.com/1922757/major-drop-in-projected-utah-coronavirus-deaths-state-still-preparing-for-possible-overflow-at-hospitals/

Over 500 Utahns have died from COVID-19. Here’s a breakdown of the data.

Hospitals a concern as Utah sets new record for COVID-19 cases

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Hurricane Ian flooding in Naples, Florida....
Amir Vera, Eric Levenson, Jason Hanna and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Hurricane Ian weakens to Category 3 after making landfall in Florida, but officials warn the worst is yet to come

Hurricane Ian has weakened to a Category 3 storm hours after pummeling southwestern Florida Wednesday, but officials are warning people to stay inside as the worst of the storm is still on the way.
1 day ago
Researchers at UNLV say rocks with volcanic ash as old as 12 million years have been discovered at ...
Adam Small

Ancient volcanic ash found at Lake Mead, researchers say

Rocks with volcanic ash that could be 12 million years old have recently been found at Lake Mead, according to researchers from UNLV.
1 day ago
utah NWS warnings...
Mark Jones

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Davis and Weber counties

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Davis and Weber counties on Wednesday night. There is a slight chance of more rain on Thursday, according to KSL weather.
1 day ago
Hurricane Ian Satellite image...
Mark Jones

Former KSL NewsRadio talk show host in the path of Hurricane Ian

Drew Steele, a former KSL NewsRadio talk show host, currently lives near Fort Myers, Fla., with his family and is in the path of Hurricane Ian.
1 day ago
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Utah Transit Authority and bus operations across the natio...
Waverly Golden

UTA makes service reductions following staffing shortages

According to a press release from UTA, several emergency bus service adjustments will be made this December 11. 
1 day ago
academic website, BYU race...
Aimee Cobabe and Alex Cabrero

Researchers using dirty diapers to develop new autism test

Dirty diapers are being used by researchers at Brigham Young University as a way to try and detect autism in young children at an earlier age.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Utah ready to set up temporary COVID-19 hospital, but health officials hope they won’t need it