The sign leading to the emergency room at Dixie Regional Medical Center was seen in February. 13, 2020 at St. George, Utah. | Photo by Chris Reed
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ̵1; One of Utah’s largest hospitals has no beds left in the regular intensive care unit while the governor declared that the state’s delay in coronavirus cases is “unsustainable.” Meanwhile, while Dixie Regional Medical Center still does not need to activate the outflow of the ICU, but southern Utah for the second time this week hit a day high for new infections with 92 additional people infected with COVID-19.
It was led by St. George, who had 53 with the latest state infections for cities with less than 100,000 people on Saturday according to the Utah Department of Health.
The University of Utah Health needs to set up extra beds in the ICU staff of doctors and nurses working on time care to care for its critical patients this week as the unit reaches 104% capacity, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Russell Vinik.
“We cut where we could but it was uncertain,” he said. “We are worried about the flu season, especially if people are not vaccinated. We will not get another hit.”
The number of Southern Utah residents hospitalized by the virus dropped on Saturday according to Southwest Utah Department of Health. However, over the past few days, Dixie Regional Medical Center, which also handles COVID-19 patients beyond Southern Utah, has had more general coronavirus patients than the number of ICU beds in the facility.
However, Dixie Regional spokeswoman Terri Draper said the hospital has not yet enabled its surge ICU to expand the available beds of intensive care from 32 to 89.
“No, we did not extend an ICU surge. But statewide health care resources are strained at this point due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases and subsequent hospitals, which increases the number of high-patient patients, “Draper said. “It is important to note that we continue to care for many non-COVID patients who also require high levels of ICU care.”
Draper said doctors, nurses and other hospital caregivers need help from the community.
“Again, we called on the community to stand by us, cover up, socially appropriate distance, wash hands often, and stay home if sick,” Draper said. “Our caregivers and patients throughout the community need your support to reduce the transmission of this virus.”
Health officials again reported near record levels of new statewide coronavirus cases across the state on Saturday, saying they meant hospitals could continue to rise.
Utah health officials reported nearly 1,500 new cases on Friday and an additional 1,340 Saturday, a number Governor Gary Herbert called “sobering” in a week-long increase in new cases. Herbert again urged people to wear masks and practice social isolation.
Doctors like Vinik are also worried about the upcoming holiday season, where the cold temperatures accompanied by more people gathering indoors could mean further spread of the pandemic. Hospitals across the state are in 73% capacity.
Herbert did not issue a statewide mandate of the mask, but earlier this week he unveiled a new plan that automatically requires masks in high-delivery provinces and in the next two weeks will made masks mandatory in the counties of Washington, Iron and Garfield. Herbert warned on Friday that many areas could face new restrictions if the case is not stopped.
“It is important to ensure that our health care system is not overwhelmed,” Herbert said in a statement.
The St. George News Weekend Editor / reporter Chris Reed contributed to this story.
COVID-19 information sources
St. George News to ensure that the information in this story is accurate at the time it is written. However, as the situation and science surrounding coronavirus continue to change, it is possible that some data has changed.
We invite you to review the resources below for timely information and resources.
Number of coronavirus in Southern Utah (until October 17, 2020, seven day average in parentheses)
Positive COVID-19 tests: 5,252 (61.4 new infections per day in seven days, decreasing)
- Washington County: 4,145 (50.5 per day, decreasing)
- Iron County: 870 (6.6 per day, rising)
- Kane Province: 93 (0.7 per day, rising)
- Garfield County: 82 (1.9 per day, decreasing)
- Beaver County: 62 (1.6 per day, decreasing)
Deaths: 45 (0.6 per day, decreasing)
- Washington County: 38
- Iron County: 3
- Garfield County: 3
- Kane Province: 1
Hospitalized: 23 (descending)
Currently a seven-day average in Utah: 1,222 (rising)
Southern Utah provinces with high level of delivery (masks required, gathering up to 10 or less): Garfield (18.1% positive tests, 472.4 per 100,000 case cases)
Provinces of Southern Utah in moderate delivery (masks needed, gathering until 10 or less until October 29): Washington (12.6% positive tests, 327.9 per 100,000 case rate), Iron (8.3% positive test, 153.5 per 100,000 case cases)
Southern Utah provinces on low delivery levels (masks recommended, gathering up to 50 or less): Beaver (7.1% positive review, 197.6 per 100,000 case cases), Kane (6.5% positive review, 90.8 per 100,000 case cases)
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.