Stormont Vail worries of impending COVID-19 surge

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 1:03 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Stormont Vail is worried that the other shoe will drop as COVID-19 hospitalizations decrease.

The Stormont Vail Incident Scorecard shows that the hospital now has 76 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 while 99% of its medical beds are still in use. However, the hospital said it is concerned the other shoe will drop and another surge of the virus will hit.

According to the health network, post-Thanksgiving hospitalizations will come within the next week if they do show up, which will be followed by other winter holidays when people traditionally tend to gather together inside.

Stormont Vail said its next steps depend on what community members have done to mitigate the spread of the virus in the past few weeks such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and staying home.

According to Stormont Vail, hospitalizations and deaths typically follow new infection rates by two to three weeks. It said it continues to see high infection rates in the region. On Dec. 3, the network said its percentage of patients testing positive in its facilities is at 32.3%. It said this is extremely high and shows that the virus is widespread in the region.

The health network said with COVID-19 vaccines on the way, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, it said the community can not get current infection rates under control, it will be a dark journey to get there. It said the next chapter of the pandemic will be based on the actions of community members. It said it is urging residents to do their part and help healthcare neighbors, friends and families in the coming months by adhering to public health practices.

The hospital said it has now seen 116 deaths related to the virus, which is up one from Dec. 2. It also showed that 236 residents tested positive for the virus on Dec. 3, which is due to a backlog of tests administered over the Thanksgiving holiday, although it is seeing an increase in its daily positive testing rates.

The University of Kansas St. Francis Campus shows it is at 86% capacity with 32 COVID-19 positive inpatients. It also shows that its medical and surgical units are at 75% capacity. It has also seen 192 residents test positive for the virus on Dec. 3.

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