Local medical professionals ask for aid in the fight against COVID-19

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 8:42 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Asking for aid, as COVID-19 cases rise in the region area healthcare providers hope to receive additional hospital beds from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

“Cases have continued to increase, the positivity rate has continued to increase, and the demand for hospital care has continued to increase," Public Health Administrator with the Winnebago County Health Department Dr. Sandra Martell said.

To match the surging COVID-19 metrics in the region the Winnebago county health department and local health systems ask for additional bed sets.

“About eight percent of individuals so far to date that have COVID or have been diagnosed with covid need hospital care," Martell said.

Martell says about 16 to 20 patients need hospital care per day and most stay in the hospital for seven to ten days, which can create a bed availability problem.

“Your patients on day one and you’re in the hospital but if you are now patients two weeks into this and the first group of patients have not necessarily been discharged you end up with this stacking effect," Martell said.

The need does not stop at beds Crusader Community Health is home to one of the regions testing centers on Rockton Ave. this week the center ran out of daily tests at one point.

“Monday we saw a huge spike we saw over 400 individuals come to our site to be tested, which messed with our supply," Director of clinical operations for Crusader Community Health Shayna Chiarelli said.

Dr. Stephen Bartlett is Chief Medical Officer at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, he says the COVID-19 patients he sees are not as ill as they were in the spring. This allows the hospital to convert general hospital beds into use, not ICU beds. Bartlett says there is cause for some concern but he remains optimistic about the future.

“The first surge showed us what to do," Bartlett said. "The physicians know what to do, the nurses know what to do, they know how to put on their PPE it’s much more efficient and almost routine.”

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