Triad Health Care Systems Weigh Options Amid Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations
For a fifth consecutive day, North Carolina has reported its highest number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations.
Just over 2,000 North Carolinians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Tuesday. That’s almost double the number from one month ago.
Nearly a third of those hospitalized are in the Triad. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows there are only 90 staffed ICU beds available across the region.
Vi-Anne Antrum, Cone Health's Senior Vice President and Associate Chief Nurse Executive, says she’s concerned numbers will continue to go up, further straining the already-stretched system.
“Given the travel numbers over Thanksgiving, I'm not overly optimistic about what that means for our COVID numbers in the coming weeks."
Antrum says the system is currently managing both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients. But that is getting harder, as staff members become infected with the virus.
"As COVID rises in the community, our employees are certainly members of the community as well," she says. "So far, we have been able to manage our staffing. And I think if we were to see a huge influx of volume, it would create a situation where we would need to work differently than what we do today or what we traditionally do."
Contingency plans include limiting some services, shifting same-day surgical procedures to outpatient centers or even moving hospital beds into hallways if no space is available.