Intermountain doctors urge Utahns to get vaccinated as ICU occupancy nears 100%

Sep 17, 2021, 12:57 PM | Updated: 12:58 pm
FILE (Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)...
FILE (Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)
(Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY — Doctors with Intermountain Healthcare urged Utahns to get vaccinated as they continue to see a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Intermountain leaders said it’s been a trend for weeks — more cases and hospitalizations because of the delta variant, ICUs are overcapacity and they’re losing health care workers who are overworked and tired.

More than 95% of Utah’s ICU beds were occupied as of Friday morning, and Intermountain officials said ICUs and acute care units at their hospitals have regularly exceeded 100% capacity over the last several weeks.

Even if there is a ventilator or a bed available, Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare, said that bed is worthless because there aren’t nurses and practitioners who can care for that sick patient.

The delta variant is much more aggressive than earlier coronavirus strains, and they’ve seen healthy people put on ventilators.

They added the data is showing the vaccine can really help lessen the severity of the illness.

Vento also addressed claims by some who have questioned if Utah hospitals are overwhelmed.

“If you’re a nurse in the ICU right now for example and you’ve taken care of COVID patients who are really sick in the ICU on ventilators for multiple days in a row, and you come home and hear folks say, ‘Oh, that’s not true, they have more capacity, they’re not overwhelmed’ — that’s being part of the problem,” he said. “That’s not being part of the solution.”

If Utah’s vaccination rates don’t increase, Vento warned the Beehive State could end up like Idaho, which has activated crisis standards of care because of the massive number of COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized.

“The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident,” Idaho Department of Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said in statement.

Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge drags on

Our best defense is to continue practicing social distancing, limit gatherings and wear masks indoors, even if you’re vaccinated.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Intermountain Medical Center (KSL TV)...
Emily Ashcraft

Pandemic led to increase in rate and severity of depression, Intermountain study says

The COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on mental health, specifically depression, an Intermountain Health study using research from thousands Utah patients found.
17 days ago
Emily Ashcraft

Masks no longer required at Intermountain Health facilities, 3 years after pandemic started

Intermountain Health announced wearing masks will become optional for visitors and patients beginning March 15, following an anticipated decline in respiratory illnesses.
20 days ago
woman blowing her nose on a couch...
Paul LeBlanc

New assessment on the origins of COVID-19 adds to the confusion

Three years after the start of the pandemic, researchers are beginning to look more into how COVID-19 began and its origins.
25 days ago
Flu COVID test...
Jen Christensen, CNN

FDA authorizes first at-home test for flu, Covid-19

If you've got a fever and a cough, you don't necessarily have to go to the doctor anymore to find out if it's the flu or COVID-19.
27 days ago
Ashley Moser

COVID long-haulers push lawmakers to approve funding for treatment research

The request for $4,000,000 would help U of U Health’s Comprehensive COVID-19 Clinic, which has seen 1,800 long COVID-19 patients since July of 2021.
1 month ago
Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

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.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
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.
Intermountain doctors urge Utahns to get vaccinated as ICU occupancy nears 100%