Heath Care Workers Express Concern As Hospitalizations Hit New High

Oct 16, 2020, 10:35 PM
FILE: Intermountain Medical Center in Murray....
FILE: Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah saw its third-largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases and its highest number of hospitalizations Friday, and health officials are concerned.

“Our hospitalizations are at an all-time high,” said Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious diseases physician at Intermountain Healthcare. “The current trajectory that we’re on, it’s not sustainable.”

Since the start of the school year, 15-to-24-year-olds have made up many of the positive cases of COVID-19. More recently, Dr. Stenehjem said there are seeing more cases among 25-to-40-year-olds.

“We predicted and it’s likely coming true that those 15-to-24-year-olds went home and infected mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and their community members,” he said. “Now we’re just seeing really significant community spread leading to these really high case counts and resulting in hospitalizations.”

It’s true hospitals typically see more patients this time of year. But Stenehjem said patients with COVID-19 tend to stay in there longer.

“If we continue to add patients to our hospitals at this rate we’re not going to be able to take care of COVID-19 patients, let alone patients who need treatment for other things,” he said.

Gov. Gary Herbert added his voice of concern after the release of the numbers Friday, saying, “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,” Herbert added. “Unless we do these things, we can expect to see more sobering days like today.”

On Wednesday night, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn tweeted the case fatality ratio in Utah was at 0.61% and dropping.

“That is fantastic,” she wrote, adding that they don’t know why that is. She also noted that hospitalizations are increasing and there are longer-term effects that COVID has on the body.

“We cannot just be looking at the mortality rate. I mean that is such the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Stenehjem said. “Let’s not discount the patients that are in the ICU for weeks on a ventilator.”

The constant emphasis on the virus can be tiring. But as health care workers treat the sick, Stenehjem said it’s up to the community to focus on stopping the spread.

“We’re tired too. We’re utterly exhausted dealing with COVID-19,” Stenehjem said. “If we don’t put in the effort now we’re going to be a lot more tired in a month or two months when our hospitals are fully at capacity and we can’t care for people in the way we want to.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
13 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 month ago
flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
4 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
4 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Heath Care Workers Express Concern As Hospitalizations Hit New High