DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Throughout September, the Davis County Health Department has seen an increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations. One hospital is feeling the strain caused by the current surge with an ICU that is full.
“What we’re seeing is hospitalizations are increasing,” Davis County Health Department Director Brian Hatch told ABC4. That’s been the trend in Davis County throughout the month of September. The Davis Hospital and Medical Center is feeling the strain. Its ICU is full and about half of those patients are the result of COVID-19.
“It’s been really difficult to be able to manage the patients that are needing an ICU bed because COVID patients do take a lot more time in the hospital to be able to recover,” Chief Nursing Officer Chris Johnson explained.
Johnson said at the hospital at any given time, about half of the ICU beds are COVID-19 patients. Those patients are often in the ICU for more than 20 days which is three times longer than the average patient.
“It affects how many people, patients, we can adequately take care of,” Johnson stated.
This is happening across the county. “We’re seeing hospitalizations at the same number that we did during the peak of the last wave,” explained Brian Hatch.
While hospitalizations are at the same level as they were during last year’s peak, Johnson told ABC4 that there is a difference during this wave. He explained that the patients are younger and sicker. He added, “I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that a lot of older people received the vaccine, and so we’re not seeing that age group, typically, in the hospital with COVID.”
Johnson said all hospital staff from the janitors to the surgeons are working extra hours to fight this current surge, and he believes this is taking a toll on all healthcare workers. “It’s been difficult to see young, what should be young, healthy people actually die from this, and knowing that not everything was done because of a choice that they made.”
In most cases, Johnson said that outcome is preventable. He added, “The vaccine truly is the answer to being able to combat a lot of COVID issues that we have. It’s not the silver bullet, by any means, but it certainly is exactly what is needed to help us keep hospitalizations down and continue to take care of the patients that we need to.”