Sweetwater Memorial Continues to Battle COVID-19 Wave

Sweetwater Memorial Continues to Battle COVID-19 Wave

ROCK SPRINGS — Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has had to operate at a crisis level at least a couple of times since September.

During Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s (MHSC) Board meeting today, the board heard an update on the impacts COVID-19 is having on the hospital. CEO Irene Richardson said they saw about 33 patients in one week, which is probably something they haven’t seen in decades.

According to Kim White, MHSC’s COVID-19 incident commander and emergency services director the hospital currently has 10 COVID-19 ICU patients. She said the hospital is not only seeing and increase in COVID-19 related patients, but non-related COVID-19 cases as well.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

“We’ve had to go into crisis level a couple of times,” White said.

White said they had to go into crisis mode because the amount of hours employees were working. They are going way above and beyond normal hours. The hospital is now running back in contingency mode, but she’s concerned they may move back into crisis mode if the current surge doesn’t start to decrease.

Since September, the hospital has sent 60 residents home with oxygen with 99 percent of those being COVID-19 related. A lot of those seeking help from the emergency room would have been admitted had there not been a pandemic taking place.

As for testing, White said they are still seeing 180 to 200 residents per day seeking COVID-19 tests.

White said as the surge continues, the employees will continue to encourage residents to help them by getting a vaccination.

She said they have seen a pretty good turnout on the booster shots already, however they are hoping to see more residents receive the vaccine. She said about 90 percent of COVID-19 patients needing critical care have not been vaccinated and a lot of them are telling employees they wish they would have been.

Another concern for the hospital is the University of Utah continues to take patients on a case-by-case only and this isn’t just COVID-19 patients, but all, White said.

Other business

The hospital board listened to an audit review from Darryn McGarvey and Dan Deyle of Clifton, Larson and Allen. They informed the board that they audit was clean.