Cache County hospitals on edge as ICUs fill with COVID-19 patients

Local News

CACHE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) Two Logan hospitals and the Bear River Health Department are asking the public for help after one ICU reached capacity yesterday.

“These are scary times,” emphasized Dr. Taki May on Tuesday afternoon. Dr. May is the medical director at Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital. She, along with other healthcare workers, is on edge as COVID-19 cases cause the hospital to remain full.

“We’re really busy and we’re always worried about what’s right around the corner,” stated Dr. May.

This comes after the hospital reached capacity in both its ICU and medical unit Monday.

“Fortunately, we had some discharges and today we started out with one staffed, empty bed in the ICU and a few on medical,” explained Dr. May.

Just down the street Cache Valley Hospital is not at capacity, but it is seeing similar circumstances.

“The presence of COVID has kind of put us over the edge with being able to occupy and staff these beds, and made it difficult to place patients in ICUs as appropriate,” Cache Valley Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Jami Cottle told ABC4.

Currently, both hospitals are preparing for flu season as COVID cases continue to remain high in the area.

“I am terrified,” Dr. Taki May said. “We were blessed last year with the fact that we had virtually no influenza.” The doctor told ABC4 that the hospital is already seeing more cases of the flu and RSV in children this year. This, along with COVID, worries her.

“We’re seeing the intersection of pandemic fatigue and compassion fatigue on the healthcare side of things,” explained Bear River Health Department Health Officer Jordan Mathis. “They’re kind of intersecting and it’s creating a crisis in our community in regard to accessibility of healthcare.”

“We would be able to be staffed for the volume of non-COVID census and that COVID census that doesn’t necessarily need to be there is what’s stressing our staff,” added Dr. May.

Health officials and hospital staff are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help ease some of the burden on hospitals. Jordan Mathis said they are also urging people to follow other recommendations like “getting tested, staying home if you’re sick and also wearing a mask in public places.”

Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital and Cache Valley Hospital are encouraging people to reach out to their primary physician when needed. Officials from both hospitals told ABC4 they are seeing patients with non-COVID illnesses who end up needing a higher level of care because they waited too long to seek medical help. Jami Cottle stated: “Last year we feel like a lot of people put that off and ended up in a bad situation.”

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