SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Healthcare leaders met Wednesday, addressing the Delta variant, as COVID-19 cases increase and the potential impact on Utah’s hospitals.
“On top of the increase in COVID-19, we have an increase in number of patients we are seeing, an increase in patients who are being injured in a number or manners and fashions,” M.D. Mark Briesacher of Intermountain Healthcare says.
According to Intermountain Healthcare, Utah was identified in the national’s top five for COVID-19 hotspot.
Doctors report June 2021 as the third highest monthly case load growth since the beginning of the pandemic, which is eight per 100,000 people, the sixth highest case rate in the nation.
Since June first, doctors explain COVID-19 cases are increasing daily and hospitalizations have all increased about 75%.
“We have a handful of open ICU beds, we have a handful of acute care beds, we have patients boarding in our emergency department waiting to get in. We are clinically busier than ever with people waiting to get care,” explains Kencee Graves M.D. U of U Health.
Doctors say the small surge in hospitalizations is fueled by the Delta variant and it is impacting those who are unvaccinated.
Last year, during the peak of the pandemic, caregivers struggled to keep up with skyrocketing patient volumes and doctors fear it’s happening again.
“Over the last two weeks our COVID census patients who have COVID- 19 and are sick from that and need hospitalization, that number has doubled as we watch our state trends increase. The thing our staff needs most is for those who are unvaccinated to get a vaccine now,” Graves states.
The Governor reports the state has reached its goal of 70% of adult Utahns having at least the first dose of a vaccine, he is encouraging everyone to follow suit.
Doctors say the Delta variant is more transmissible and the CDC reports it is the dominant strain in the U.S.