GOVERNMENT

Doctors urge Utahns to follow COVID-19 mandates, saying hospitals are at ‘tipping point’ of being overwhelmed

Nov 9, 2020, 8:13 PM
utah icus...
(Two workers treating a COVID-19 patient at University of Utah Hospital. Credit: Charlie Ehlert, University of Utah Health, August 19, 2020)
(Two workers treating a COVID-19 patient at University of Utah Hospital. Credit: Charlie Ehlert, University of Utah Health, August 19, 2020)

SALT LAKE CITY – Hospital administrators are hoping everyone will follow the governor’s emergency mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Doctors say Hospitals at the “tipping point” of becoming overwhelmed, and they believe the spread of the virus will slow down as long as people follow the emergency orders.

On Monday, state health officials announced there were 2,247 new COVID-19 cases, along with two more deaths.  That isn’t a record, but doctors are also worried the seven-day rolling average of new cases.  Utah Hospital Association CEO Greg Bell says the current rolling average is 2,437 new cases, per day.  Plus, the seven-day positivity rate has ballooned from 13.5 percent a month ago to 21.25 percent, today.

“The velocity of the spread has increased, remarkably.  It must be checked because we simply cannot the infection rate without severe consequences,” Bell says.

Doctors are very encouraged about the news from Pfizer.  The drug maker announced the early data from the results of their test show it could be 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.  However, Steward Health Care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Arlen Jarrett says it will be a while before the vaccine is available for everyone, which is why people need to follow the mandates.

Jarrett says, “Yesterday, the number of those in our hospitals was double the number we had two weeks ago, and it was five times the number we had in the hospital just two months ago.”

Officials from University of Utah Health say their facilities have become so crowded, they’ve had to cut back on non-critical surgeries.  Chief Nursing Officer Tracey Nixon says nurses are exhausted, both mentally and physically, and the virus is causing serious problems in how many patients they can treat.

“Non-COVID care is going to have to be chipped away at to make room for COVID care,” she says.

The problem isn’t having enough beds.  MountainStar Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Baumann says they have been clearing out space to make room for more beds.  However, he says people may have misconceptions about how full hospitals truly are, since they see a large number of beds not being used.

Baumann says the real issue is staffing.  So, they’re going to start using another measurement to help people understand just how busy they are.

“We’re actually moving to not only listing the physical beds, but moving to an important nuance of just how many beds do we have staffed that we can run,” he says.

 

Related Links:

SLC Mayor says hospitals have reached their breaking point with rising COVID-19 patients

Two hospitals reach max ICU capacity due to COVID-19 patients

Utah hospitals feel more strain with rising COVID-19 infection rates

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Former President Donald Trump is pictured. The FBI just conducted a raid on his home....
Mark Jackson

Utah reaction to the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

The FBI search on former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home is prompting a lot of reaction. Two experts provide a local take.
21 hours ago
Rep. John Curtis is pictured. He sponsored the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act...
CHRIS JACOBS and Samantha Herrera

New bill from Rep. John Curtis takes aim at devices that can record unknowing consumers

The Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act is sponsored by Rep John Curtis. It will require companies to inform consumers if a device can record them.
21 hours ago
FILE - The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Friday, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhit...
MARK JACKSON and SAMANTHA HERRERA

Utah’s senators react to passage of Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act passed through the Senate along party lines on Sunday. Utah's two senators both denounced the bill.
2 days ago
coronavirus aid package congressional races utah...
Alex Rogers, Clare Foran, Ali Zaslav and Manu Raju, CNN

Senate passes Democrats’ sweeping health care and climate bill

Democrats drove their election-year economic package toward Senate approval early Sunday, debating a measure with less ambition than President Joe Biden’s original domestic vision but that touches deep-rooted party dreams of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing immense corporations.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 202...
Donald Judd, CNN

President Joe Biden officially cleared to emerge from isolation following rebound Covid-19 case

 President Joe Biden was officially cleared to emerge from isolation Sunday after a second negative Covid-19 test, his physician announced.
3 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

The 2022 Subaru Outback outscored six other midsize sedans in an updated side-crash test, which more accurately reflects real-world conditions than the previous test.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Doctors urge Utahns to follow COVID-19 mandates, saying hospitals are at ‘tipping point’ of being overwhelmed