Help slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve hospital capacity
Public health departments have been working with our metro’s hospital systems in strong collaboration since COVID-19 entered our region. We have appreciated this partnership which is imperative for a safe and health community.
Today we heard several concerns voiced from our region’s hospital Chief Medical Officers. Due to COVID-19, our hospitals are at a critical juncture between concern and crisis.
“Bed capacity is a significant concern. Hospitals reported becoming aware recently that the hospital data available regarding bed capacity and utilization is not aligning with what hospital staff see in their wards and units every day. We were pleased to hear they will be working hard to remedy that and provide more usable, real world data about the availability of staffed beds that can be used for COVID-19 patients to help health departments and elected officials make recommendations and decisions to protect our community” states Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.
Hospital infection control is at an all-time high and hospitals are protecting staff and patients from COVID-19 spread in their facilities. However, the growing level of community spread is also impacting bed capacity by reducing staff availability due to staff being exposed to COVID-19 out in the community.
Hospitals are growing increasingly concerned about having to delay procedures, treatments and surgeries for patients who truly need them. Delayed or deferred care can create bad outcomes for patients, their families and the community.
The public plays an important role in slowing down our region’s current widespread transmission of COVID-19. It is more imperative than ever to:
- Wear masks.
- Physically distance (6 feet or more) from others you don’t live with.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid crowded indoor gatherings at homes, restaurants, bars and other event venues where transmission is more likely to occur.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
Taking this information seriously is something each member of our community can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and ease the pressure on our region’s hospitals.
To learn more, watch the recording of the regional Chief Medical Officer briefing below.