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Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 5/26

Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 5/26

Testing and Confirmed Cases
To protect patient privacy, DCH has established a minimum threshold of five for reporting numbers of inpatients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DCH internal counts as of 3:20 p.m. on 5/26/20:

  • 74 inpatients are being treated for COVID-19.

  • 20 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.

  • 10 who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.

  • 576 (cumulative) have tested positive for COVID-19 including individuals from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.

  • 6,783 (cumulative) have tested negative at DCH sites.

  • 106 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.

  • 30 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died at DCH.

covid graph

Also included is a chart showing the percent positive among those tested at DCH locations. This chart reflects totals by the end of each day (except today).

covid graph

COVID Inpatient Numbers on the Rise

Last Friday at 3:20 p.m., DCH reported 41* inpatients being treated for COVID-19, and today we are reporting 74. Following is a brief summary of what we believe are the main contributing factors.

The first factor to consider is the long weekend. If you look back at prior weekends on the trend line, there is usually a bit of an increase the first few days of the week following. In part, this is because of more limited lab time on the weekend, resulting in many tests coming back at once vs. a continual flow like you see during the rest of the week.

Another related component is a recent increase in those requesting tests. Last Wednesday 189 specimens were collected at the remote testing site. The weeks prior were resulting in daily numbers in the 50­­-70 range.

Finally, some area facilities with many residents in close quarters are starting to have individuals test positive for COVID-19. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are caring for some of the most at-risk individuals due to age and other health factors. Most of these facilities are requiring two negative test results from specimens taken more than 24 hours apart before discharge. While this caution is certainly understandable, it is causing a strain on hospital capacity as individuals who may otherwise be well enough to go home have to wait for a second result.

What does this mean for capacity? The most difficult rooms to source are ICU rooms, so they are a good measure of the current capacity. Between DCH Regional Medical Center (RMC) and Northport Medical Center, there are normally 72 ICU rooms. Eighteen additional rooms at RMC have been adapted for ICU use as needed. In total, that is up to 90 ICU beds that could be put into use at any given time. As of this morning, DCH had a total of 73 ICU rooms being used by patients including COVID-19 positive patients.

* The daily report for last Friday was run at 3:20 p.m., and at that time there were 41 inpatients with COVID-19. Today’s chart shows 36 for last Friday because that is how many were being treated by the end of the day (11:59 p.m.) on May 22.