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Grand Junction hospitals reaching capacity limits

According to Colorado Canyons Hospital, it is accepted patient transfers from Community and St. Mary’s Hospitals
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:53 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - COVID-19 hospitalizations are up in Mesa County. About forty county residents are currently in the hospital because of the coronavirus according to Mesa County Public Health.

According to the most recent numbers from the health department, hospitals in the county remain close to capacity and have been for the past few weeks. Local hospitals and MCPH are concerned.

MCPH Executive Director Jeff Kuhr explained that his department has been working to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. However, COVID-19 cases on top of routine medical issues are pushing hospitals to their limits. One way to avoid a stint in the hospital, according to Kuhr, is getting vaccinated. “Among the deaths and the hospitalizations, less than five percent, actually less than two percent of those individuals have been vaccinated. So we know. We have our own data that shows in Mesa County that people who aren’t vaccinated are at higher risk for hospitalizations and deaths.”

Kuhr detailed how patients getting treatments for issues put off during the pandemic on top of COVID-19 cases are have been keeping hospitals at or near capacity in recent weeks.

“The hospitalizations are overwhelmed right now because of trauma. Because people could not see specialists during COVID, and now things a restarting to catch up with them and, so, the hospitals are overwhelmed, and they really don’t need the additional illnesses due to COVID as well.”

Mesa County has been seeing about two to three COVID-19 deaths a week recently according to Kuhr.

According to Colorado Canyons Hospital, staff there are concerned about the current situation. Colorado Canyons is not at capacity, but they have been accepting patient transfers from both Community and St. Mary’s hospitals.

St. Mary’s Hospital sent a statement that read in part, “Overall, with an increase in warm-weather trauma cases, St. Mary’s has seen a high volume of patients in recent weeks. When combined with the rise in COVID-19 diagnoses, this has resulted in periodic surges in demand. St. Mary’s Medical Center staff continuously adapt to serve our patients best. Medical teams manage capacity hourly to provide the best possible access for patients from Mesa County and the surrounding region. Currently, St. Mary’s Medical Center has available bed space to serve patients in need.”

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