CACHE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The Bear River Health Department reports nearly 700 active cases of COVID-19 in Cache County. That’s about four-and-a-half times higher than what the health department reported at the begining of July. One Logan hospital is feeling the pressure from the latest wave of COVID-19 patients and needs more nurses to keep up with the increase.
“We have amazing caregivers in our hospital, but our nurses are working extra shifts; they’re not getting their days off,” Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital Medical Director Dr. Taki May tells ABC4. She continues, “This has been going on for months.”
Dr. May says the hospital is seeing an increase in respiratory-related illnesses right now as well, but it’s the pandemic that’s causing nurses to work extra hours. She adds,”… that COVID census that doesn’t necessarily need to be there is what’s stressing our staff.”
Dr. May says while nurses are working more than ever, morale is lower than it was at the begining of the pandemic. “We’ve moved from being healthcare heroes, to healthcare villains because we’re promoting things like healthy vaccination and mask wearing,” she says emotionally. “It’s particularly emotionally draining for the staff.”
Dr. May tells ABC4 that the hospital is always hiring nurses to fill the increased demand as a result of the recent waves of COVID-19 patients. She says, “We are faced with the reality that we’re a 24/7, 365 business and we want to be here for everybody.” She says the hospital will help everybody who needs it. However, she says the nurses need the public’s pactience in return.
“We’re sorry that we have longer-than-usual-wait times in the E.D. (emergency department). We’re busier than usual,” she states. “We’re having a hard time hiring staff.”