Home News COVID-19 Situation Local COVID hospitalizations increased last week

Local COVID hospitalizations increased last week


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The number of COVID-19 beds at local hospitals used by COVID-19 patients rose by 41 for a seven-day period ending Dec. 10 compared to the week before, according to information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The COVID-19 hospitalization usage report for Dec. 4 until Dec. 10 indicated that Lovelace Regional Hospital had 53 adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in its beds during that seven-day period. Eastern New Mexico Medical Center had 183 beds in use by confirmed COVID-19 patients during that time.

That compares to a total of 195 adult COVID-19 patients for the prior reporting period, Nov. 27 to Dec. 3. Lovelace had 35 patients over that seven-day period, while Eastern New Mexico Medical Center had 160.

For both reporting periods, there were zero to three children hospitalized for COVID-19, as the federal agency does not specify numbers lower than four.

The reports are being compiled and released so that health care staff and government officials can determine whether hospitals have adequate capacity to care for COVID-19 and emergency cases.

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ENMMC has 162 beds, while Lovelace has 27 beds, although hospital representatives have said they are able to create more rooms if needed and if existing medical staff are available to take care of patients.

The New Mexico Department of Health and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced two new health orders that took effect last week designed to address over-capacity and medical staff shortages. The new orders limit non-emergency surgical procedures at hospitals and allow board licensed medical professionals to become credentialed as COVID-19 health care workers. Both orders are due to expire the first week of January.

According to the Health and Human Services report, which is posted at www.healthdata.gov, the most recent reporting period also showed that the average daily COVID-19 bed usage from Dec. 4 to Dec. 10 was 7.6 at Lovelace and 26.1 at Eastern.

Adult Intensive Care Unit bed usage by confirmed COVID-19 patients over the seven-day period was 22 at Lovelace and 60 at ENMMC. The previous reporting period showed the number at 15 for Lovelace and 61 for Eastern.

The COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management indicated that the HHS data means that the two acute-care hospitals in Chaves County had 38.1% of total beds and 57.3% of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients from Dec. 4 to Dec. 10.

That ranked Chaves County as the fifth-highest in New Mexico for the occupancy rate for total bed use by COVID-19 patients, and the sixth-highest for ICU bed use. The highest occupancy rate for total bed use was 58.6% in McKinley County. The highest ICU bed use was in Curry County, which had 85.7% occupancy.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

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