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Local COVID-19 hospitalization numbers decline

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The weekly update of local hospital bed usage shows another decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The total of adult beds used by COVID-19 patients at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and Lovelace Regional Hospital dropped by 21 to 180 for the seven-day period of Dec. 18 to Dec. 24 compared to the previous seven-day period.

Meanwhile, intensive care unit (ICU) beds occupied by COVID-19 patients at the two facilities during that reporting period went down by 5 to a total of 79, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Those numbers meant that about 36.5% of all adult in-patients beds available in the two hospitals were occupied by COVID-19 patients. ENMMC had 138 adult beds used by confirmed COVID-19 patients during the seven-day period, while Lovelace had 42. In-patient adult beds available at the two locations totaled 493, according to the federal report.

The percentage of available ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center was about 67.4%, or 64 beds used out of 95 adult ICU beds available.

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Lovelace had 15 COVID-19 patients in its ICU beds from Dec. 18 to Dec. 24, but the percentage of utilization cannot be determined because the total number of available ICU adult beds was not specified.

Neither hospital reported any pediatric COVID-19 cases for the most recent reporting period.

The current report compares to 201 adult beds used by COVID-19 patients for the prior reporting period of Dec. 11 to Dec. 17, 152 at ENMMC and 49 at Lovelace. ICU bed use by COVID-19 patients at the two facilities for the prior reporting period was 84, 60 at ENMMC and 24 at Lovelace.

For the reporting period of Dec. 4 to Dec. 10, adult beds used by confirmed COVID-19 patients totaled 236, 183 at Eastern and 53 at Lovelace. ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients for that seven-day period totaled 82, 22 at Lovelace and 60 at Eastern.

Communications representatives at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and Lovelace Regional Hospital have asked local residents to continue to practice the COVID-19 prevention methods outlined by the New Mexico Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those recommendations include wearing face coverings when around others, washing hands frequently, avoiding crowds and practicing social distancing.

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