Utah seeing holiday COVID-19 spike, ICUs hit 101% capacity

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 News)— On Monday, ICU beds are at capacity state wide.

On Sunday, out of the 16 COVID-19 referral hospitals state-wide, 458 of the 453 total ICU beds were full. Of which, 44% are with COVID patients – which is a record high.

“They had 101% of occupancy,” Greg Bell with the Utah Hospital Association says, “which means they are double-bunking in a sense.”

The Association says the spike in ICU capacity is repercussions from Christmas gatherings.

“Nine people, where it was supposed to be eight a team that was for two, is now caring for three,” Bell says.

The association says that’ not high enough to activate emergency overflow sites like the one at the Mountain American Exposition Center in Sandy. Should there be a need, Bell says it might be difficult to staff.

“We can barely staff what we have now. If we are 101% or 104% occupancy, that means we are using every available nurse, doctor, and technician,” Bell says.

According to numbers from the state, a majority of COVID-19 related deaths are among those 65 and older, which is why the Association says there is a huge push by the Governor to vaccinate older Utahns.

“You could cut out three-fourths of the deaths and a lot of the hospitalizations.”

The Associations says numbers could decline in the next week or so, but people must continue to practice social distancing.

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