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Hospital Over Capacity In ‘Unsustainable’ Coronavirus Spike

University Hospital in Salt Lake City. (KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — One of Utah’s largest hospitals had no beds left Friday in its regular intensive-care unit as Gov. Gary Herbert declared the state’s weekslong spike in coronavirus cases “unsustainable.”

“The spike in cases we have seen in recent weeks is unsustainable,” Herbert said Friday. “As Utahns, it is our duty to work together to turn things around. We must exercise all necessary precautions and follow all public health guidance. Utahns must wear a mask around others, socially distance, and limit social gathering sizes. Unless we do these things, we can expect to see more sobering days like today. This is vital to ensure our healthcare system is not overwhelmed treating patients who contract COVID-19.”

The chief medical officer at University of Utah Hospital says the hospital had to set up extra ICU beds staffed by doctors and nurses working overtime to care for its critical patients this week as the unit hit 104% capacity.

He says the hospital can’t take another hit, and administrators are very concerned looking ahead to flu season.

“This is a deciding moment,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “The actions we take in the days ahead will determine whether or not our systems are able to handle our healthcare needs. We have to do everything we can.”

State health officials reported nearly 1,500 new cases of the virus, a near-record number that portends new restrictions.

KSL-TV contributed to this report.

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