COVID-19 transmission ‘excessive’ as ICUs remain at capacity

Coronavirus Updates

Medical staff members treat a coronavirus patient in the ICU of the Asklepios Clinic in Munich, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021 as the country has been experiencing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP)

UTAH (ABC4) – Intermountain Healthcare provided an update on the sugaring COVID-19 delta variant, along with a continuing high volume of patients requiring ICU hospital care.

Dr. Brandon Webb, an infectious diseases physician at Intermountain Healthcare, says Utah hospitals continue to struggle with a surge in COVID-19 infections, with Utah remaining one of the top states in the nation for new COVID cases.

“We’re still battling excessive numbers of transmission,” says Webb.

As of Friday morning, Intermountain Healthcare says its ICU units and acute care units are either at or near full capacity. The vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated, health officials say.

With non-urgent procedures being delayed at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital last week, healthcare officials are continuing to ask the public’s participation with health protocols including getting vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing when possible.

With the introduction of oral COVID pills, health officials are excited for life-saving potential of the new addition.

“We look at oral antivirals as an exciting addition to our toolbox,” says Webb. “We’re excited about the emergence of oral antivirals. When given, early they are very effective at preventing hospitalization.”

Although Webb warns with a relaxed stance on health protocols this year, the winter season could see a large uptick in other respiratory viruses such as the flu. New availability of vaccination and emerging research are all very important tools and emphasizing ongoing preventative measures and getting tested early remain key.

“We’ve had plenty of doom and gloom over the past two years,” says Webb. “We’re looking at all these things with a great deal of optimism as we head into the winter season. We can do better this winter season than we did last winter season.”

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