St. George hospital ICU at capacity again, but vaccination are rising

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital Intensive Care Unit is at capacity again, but leaders from the Southwest Utah Public Health Department say vaccination rates are rising.

“Yes, the patients come first but at some point our families do deserve us occasionally as well, and it’s been hard to get home,” says Dr. Bryce Ferguson, the Medical Director for the ICU at the St. George Regional Hospital.

Caregivers are struggling to keep up with yet again another surge in the ICU.

“We do occasionally see people who have received the vaccine and you know it’s not 100% but the vast majority of our patients are the unvaccinated especially those patients that are sick enough to make their way onto a ventilator in the ICU,” says Dr. Ferguson.

However, vaccination rates are rising again, officials say likely due to concerns with the Omicron variant.

“We’ve got maybe 50% of eligible residents fully vaccinated,” says David Heaton of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department.

Leaders from the public health department say about 80% of the older population is vaccinated, but they’d like to see those numbers rise all across the board.

“Take the precautions we’ve encouraged since the pandemic started actually and that’s if you are older or have an underlying health condition  be especially careful when you’re out in public, crowded indoor places and avoid that if possible to wear a mask if you’re In that situation and everyone to have the courtesy in a public especially indoors in place where you can’t socially distance to consider wearing that mask,” says Heaton.

Officials say positive COVID-19 cases are up again this week and healthcare workers worry another surge may happen after Christmas.

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