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St. Claire HealthCare Takes Action In Response to Surge in COVID-Positive Hospitalizations

St. Claire HealthCare Takes Action In Response to Surge  in COVID-Positive Hospitalizations

Clinical leaders at St. Claire HealthCare have been closely monitoring the trend in COVID hospitalizations both locally and across the nation. While hopeful the spikes experienced in communities across the country wouldn’t hit St. Claire, the COVID task force was working behind the scenes to be sure the health system was prepared to handle a possible spike in COVID-positive patients.

“Not only are we seeing the number of patients requiring hospitalization surge, these patients are requiring more intense care,” said Will Melahn, MD, St. Claire HealthCare’s Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Medical Affairs. “We have reached a point where our existing COVID units are overwhelmed requiring us to implement elements of our COVID surge plan.”

On Sunday, August 15, St. Claire Regional Medical Center’s post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) was converted to a Surge COVID ICU. A portion of the COVID-positive patients currently admitted to ICU were transferred to the surge unit to make space for incoming COVID-positive admissions. All other St. Claire HealthCare clinics and ancillary services will continue to operate as usual at this time.

Sadly, the leadership at St. Claire anticipates the number of COVID admissions will continue to rise before the situation improves as the Delta variant continues to spread quickly throughout the region.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are at a high risk of complications, contact your primary care physician as soon as possible. Treatments may be available to help you recover faster and avoid hospitalization.

St. Claire HealthCare urges everyone to take precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19. Common sense practices like proper hand hygiene and social distancing reduce your risk of contracting the virus, but your best line of defense from serious complications from COVID is the vaccine. You can schedule an appointment for yourself or your child (age 12 or older) to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at St. Claire HealthCare, by calling 606.783.7539.

“Almost all of our current COVID hospitalizations are unvaccinated patients. Many of these hospitalizations likely could have been avoided if the patients had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Dr. Melahn said. “I cannot express to you how crucial it is for you, your families, and your friends to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”