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Southern Utah Covid ICU cases surpass peak

Covid hospitalizations in southern Utah rise to similar peak levels from last year. Covid deaths average 2.5 per day. Graphic provided by Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center.

On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, Dr. Patrick Carroll, Medical Director of Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center, presented an update on how the increasing cases of Covid-19 are affecting regional hospitals.

Cases are trending upwards in not only hospitalizations, but also ICU admittance rates and deaths. Hospital staff were preparing and planning for an expected up-tick in cases as winter approaches, but didn’t expect the cases to rise so suddenly and so soon.

At the peak of the pandemic in December of 2020, ICU beds were at 100 percent capacity at around thirty beds. At the beginning of September 2021, beds were added, and the hospital was filled to capacity with thirty-two patients in the ICU testing positive for Covid, along with other health related issues.

Dr. Carroll said, “This is worrisome because the winter hasn’t even started yet, and we are filled to capacity again.”

Deaths have also increased to similar levels of last year’s record high count of averaging almost 2.5 deaths per day. Carroll continued, “This is taking a toll on our medical staff, who work tirelessly to provide the highest level of care to all of our patients. Ninety percent of the patients that are admitted into the ICU with Covid have not been vaccinated and equally as alarming, those that need help breathing from a ventilator, 90 percent also have not been vaccinated.”

The hospital is seeing a lot more younger patients and expectant mothers than last year at this time, meaning the Delta variant is affecting more people.

Dr. Carroll suggested to postpone elective surgeries at this time if at all possible. If the surgery does not require the use of an ICU hospital bed, the hospital will still allow elective surgeries.

Carrol ended with, “It is the goal of all health care providers to keep people healthy, and the best thing to do to stay healthy at this time is to get vaccinated.”

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