Skyrocketing coronavirus cases are leaving Quad City hospitals struggling to cope.
They’re seeing the number of COVID-19 patients they treat rise everyday.
Now some are close to turning some away.
UnityPoint Health is now treating 53 COVID-19 patients.
19 of them are in the intensive care unit. It’s now out of those beds.
Any new patients might be transferred to Iowa City, Peoria, Rockford or Chicago.
Genesis Health System is treating 70 COVID-19 patients. 14 are in ICU.
There are a total of 26 beds, but not all are available for COVID.
If those fill up patients might be sent to Iowa City or Peoria.
“Right now everybody is pretty full,” says Bob Erickson, CEO of UnityPoint Health.
He says the fact they are caring for more than 50 patients right now is worrisome.
As they struggle with where to put patients. They are concerned about the health and safety of their staff.
“We are seeing our own health care workers being exposed outside of the hospital clinics and today for instance we have 100 staff members that are sick, and most of it traces back to community spread,” says Erickson.
Over at Genesis Health System there are 70 total patients with COVID-19, which is the highest number by far since the start of the pandemic.
Health experts there say they are also concerned about their staff, where nurses are out with COVID-19.
“We are being pushed to the maximum, and we don’t want to go back to where we were in April,” says Doug Cropper, CEO of Genesis Health System.
Both hospital group CEOs are pleading with the public to do the right thing.
“It’s the basics. It’s the CDC recommendations. Please wear a mask, it doesn’t cure COVID. It helps prevent the spread to try to keep it under control so we can have the resources we need to take care of everybody,” says Cropper.
“So please, please help us care for the caregivers, and the community by making these adjustments we talked about. Like masking, social distancing, washing your hands, and not being in large crowds,” says Cropper.
The hospitals also will begin to start looking at holding out on elective surgeries to redirect resources to take care of the surge of COVID patients.
Local health experts are again urging personal responsibility.