Dixie Regional Medical Center Setting Records For COVID Patients

Dec 22, 2020, 9:41 PM | Updated: 10:42 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Several lawmakers from southern Utah joined top doctors from Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George to thank caregivers for the job they’re doing with hospitalizations at record highs across Utah.

There has been a lot of focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the Wasatch Front, but the struggle is just as real throughout the state.

Intermountain Healthcare Tuesday hosted a video teleconference with doctors from the hospital in St. George and a handful of southern Utah legislators.

While hospitalizations are at a record high, they see more people wearing masks, and are optimistic they can turn the tide on the virus.

“It was a bit sobering this morning when I checked our COVID numbers, and unfortunately we once again set another record number of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Patrick Carroll, medical director at Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Right now he said they are treating 67 COVID-19 patients. Among them, 37 ICU patients, but the ICU at Dixie Regional has only 32 beds.

“We are continuing to find ways to treat each patient who needs care in the hospital,” Carroll said. “But we also need to recognize that this is contingency care. They are not providing normal care for ICU patients.”

He said the hospital has a rolling average of 2.5 COVID-19 deaths per day. “That’s a pretty humbling statistic,” Carroll said. “It’s something that we were worried about as the cases increased.”

Several of the legislators have toured the hospital recently. They thanked caregivers for their hard work and talked about the sobering reality of watching COVID-19 patients fight for their lives without family by their side.

“It’s been frustrating in a lot of ways to see the various theories with social media and other things. The disease is real,” said Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Panguitch.

A post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases did not materialize in Utah. Dr. Caroll said that likely indicated people are masking up, social distancing and limiting gatherings.

“Recently, I’ve noticed, and I’m grateful for these community members that are wearing their masks and social distancing. It will really help,” said Rep. Rex Shipp, R-Cedar City.

They urged everyone to keep up the effort as we await our vaccination dates.

“There seems to be a change in the climate and the attitude. I see more people willingly put on their masks. I see more people willing to make sacrifices,” said Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George.

Based on Tuesday’s hospitalizations, the medical director said it’s critical to keep up those efforts to stop the spread of the virus to lessen the burden on the doctors and nurses.

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Dixie Regional Medical Center Setting Records For COVID Patients