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“Conspiracy theorists” try to get into Utah Valley Hospital ICU

A small number of people who do not believe the ICUs are strained have tried to get into Utah Valley Hospital in Provo. A few wanted to film the ICU. (Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)

PROVO, Utah – Utah Valley Hospital says a handful of people recently tried to get into their Intensive Care Unit. 

Hospital administrator Kyle Hansen told the Provo City Council this week that about five people, who he referred to as “conspiracy theorists” have attempted to get inside because they question whether the ICU is as full as some say. 

A few of them also brought cameras. 

“We have individuals trying to sneak into the hospital to visualize and videotape this themselves,” Hansen said. 

So far, it seems no one has been successful getting in.

However, Hansen said what those people did has forced the hospital to take extra precautions when it comes to visitors and people being admitted. 

“You really can only get in if you’re here for an appointment yourself or you have to be listed in a log that we track as a designated visitor for a patient. But we’ve had some people get pretty creative in how they’ve lied about coming in for an appointment or other things,” Hansen said. 

Hospital staff is also keeping extra eyes on the entrances. 

“We’ve had to change some things relative to how we patrol our entrances,” Hansen said. 

Most people who question the ICU numbers do not physically go to the hospital itself. 

But the calls to Utah Valley Hospital from the public have also put a strain on staff. 

“We have an inordinate amount of phone calls that we’re receiving every day from the community wanting to know, ‘Is your ICU really full?'” 

As of Tuesday, Utah Valley Hospital was treating 45 COVID-19 patients. 

The 5th floor of the hospital was also being used as a spillover to treat ICU patients, which include those who do not have COVID-19. 

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Intermountain Healthcare stressed that the situations with people trying to get into the ICU were few and far between. 

But they also said that stopping attempts to get into the hospital is taking away care from those who need it.