COVID-19: VACCINE WATCH

Utah hospital ICUs expected to be at max capacity for the next few months

Dec 4, 2020, 6:10 PM
Utah ICUs filling up because of Covid...
Healthcare workers care for a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. (Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)
(Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY – Hospitalizations overall have stabilized in Utah in recent weeks. However, at least one doctor expects intensive care units ( ICUs ) to be at max capacity for the next couple of months. 

During a news conference on Friday, Intermountain Healthcare infectious disease specialist Dr. Eddie Stenehjem said ICUs are treating more patients than they normally do. 

“We’ve expanded our ICU into one of our cardiac floors and, so, we’ve taken a general medical floor and converted part of it into ICU rooms,” Stenehjem said. “Now, our COVID[-19] patients are overflowing into that ICU and also into the cardiac intensive care unit, into the neuro-ICU.” 

Dr. Stenehjem credited Governor Gary Herbert’s recent mandates on things like mask wearing for bringing cases down.

But he expects to see more people in the hospital in the next few days because of Thanksgiving. 

“We anticipate this probably pretty sizeable wave of infections,” Stenejem said. 

Hospital workers are also worried about Christmas gatherings spreading COVID-19 and leading to more hospitalizations. 

Coronaviruses in general also tend to spread more during the fall and winter months. 

Dr. Stenehjem said another worry is flu season. Although they have not seen many flu patients in the ICUs yet, flu season in Utah typically starts in December.  

Right now, hospitals are moving patients around to better handle the load. 

“We have dozen of patients in Utah Valley, McKay [Dee], and St. George, Riverton, Altaview. All of our hospitals are essentially operating to their max capacity from an ICU standpoint,” Stenejem said. 

He also encouraged Utahns to keep wearing masks and not go to social gatherings outside their households. 

He believes many Utahns took the advice of health officials and stayed home during Thanksgiving, which helped keep hospitalizations stable. 

Utah reported 587 people in the hospital with COVID-19 on Friday.

 

Related Articles:

Intermountain Healthcare defines ICU capacity amid coronavirus pandemic

As virus spikes, Europe runs low on ICU beds, hospital staff

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

  

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19: Vaccine Watch

A sign reading "immunizations" hangs over a desk. COVID-19 vaccines Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Where to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider for children 5 and under in Utah

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months old, but where can you find a vaccine provider for your child in Utah?
6 days ago
A child is comforted after getting his COVID-19 vaccine....
Samantha Herrera

More COVID-19 vaccines ordered in Utah for children as young as 6 months

32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older have been ordered by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
7 days ago
This combination of 2022 and 2020 file  photos shows logos for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...
LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Marathon US hearings to decide fate of COVID shots for tots

On Wednesday, both Moderna and Pfizer will argue their case. Each company aims to offer a different dose and number of shots.
19 days ago
FILE - A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. ...
LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

New vaccine may be option for troops with religious concerns

At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine. Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
20 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
27 days ago
COVID-19 vaccine...
KEVIN McGILL

Opponents of federal vaccine mandate seek rehearing

Mr. Biden issued an order Sept. 9 that more than 3.5 million federal executive branch workers undergo vaccination, with no option to get regularly tested.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
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.
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.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Utah hospital ICUs expected to be at max capacity for the next few months