As southern Utah’s rise in the COVID delta finally subsides, hospitals aren’t taking a break – St George News

The outside of St. George Regional Hospital, viewed as persistent rain, falls on the St. George area, St. George, Utah, October 8, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

NS. GEORGE – This week, southern Utah joined the decline in the delta variant surge in COVID-19 infections that the rest of the state has seen in the past two weeks.

Nurse Works with a COVID-19 Patient at Intermountain Hospital, Murray, Utah, October 2021 | Photo courtesy Intermountain Healthcare, St. George News

But that could be some small consolation to the doctors, nurses, and other staff at St. George Regional Hospital, where the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has not noticeably decreased.

Speaking to the Washington County Commission on Tuesday, Dr. Patrick Carroll, chief physician of the St. George Regional Hospital, that of 284 beds in the hospital 280 are occupied. In the intensive care unit, which usually has 32 beds, 34 beds were occupied, with 32 of the intensive care patients suffering from COVID.

“That said, even if it were just COVID patients, the intensive care unit would be manned,” Carroll said. “We have never seen anything like it.”

This has resulted in the hospital fighting not just for beds for COVID patients, but for patients in general. Carroll said in one case this week that it took three days to find a bed for a patient with organ failure.

That led Carroll to issue an ominous warning to the county’s residents: This is not the time to be a daredevil.

“Our hospital is full. Please be careful with risky behavior, ”said Carroll. “It will stay full and we see no end in sight. That is not a theoretical possibility. That actually happens. “

Speaking from left, Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson with St. George Regional Hospital Administrator Mitch Cloward and Medical Director Dr. Patrick Carroll after touring the hospital’s COVID-19 wards, St. George, Utah, September 3, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

For a little over a month, the hospital has suspended all non-life-threatening operations. And these aren’t just people getting what some would call non-urgent surgery.

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious disease doctor at Intermountain Healthcare, said Friday that there was no room in any of the Intermountain hospitals in Utah, which he said were all busy or overworked – especially in the intensive care unit.

“Cardiac surgery requires intensive care beds after surgery, and we don’t have the space due to capacity problems,” said Stenehjem. “These may not be non-emergency surgeries … but people need these surgeries, but we can’t offer that right now.”

Both Carroll and other Utah doctors continue to say that at least nine out of ten patients hospitalized for COVID are unvaccinated. The majority of Southern Utahians, 57.2%, remain unvaccinated.

Carroll also said that although the toll of more than a year of COVID-19 pandemic care has caused many nurses and hospital staff to leave the job, a shortage of staff is not the reason for capacity issues at St. George Regional.

“We’re not enough nurses, not because there aren’t enough nurses, but because our hospital count has never been higher,” said Carroll. “Any other year the number of nurses we have now would be more than adequate.”

Nurse Works with a COVID-19 Patient at Intermountain Hospital, Murray, Utah, October 2021 | Photo courtesy Intermountain Healthcare, St. George News

While those who have been vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID-19 have made part of the population more resistant to the worst effects of COVID-19, the delta variant is still much more contagious than the variant that currently exists before one Year to those who are not vaccinated, said Stenehjem. And the unvaccinated people are also much more likely to end up in the hospital or lose their lives.

Even those who don’t end up in the hospital spend weeks at home with oxygen bottles that can barely get out of bed.

Because the unvaccinated are getting sicker, even though new infections in southern Utah have decreased by more than 15% in the past week, according to the Utah Department of Health, Stenehjem said he doesn’t expect the hospital situation to improve – even if it does the population does not necessarily see the urgency in the walls of the hospital.

“We will see this utilization in the next few weeks,” said Stenehjem. “We’re still in the middle of it.”

St. George News reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this story.

Coronavirus count in southern Utah (as of Friday, according to Utah Department of Health)

Positive COVID-19 tests: 39,035 (7-day average of 105.57 per day, down 15.8% last week)

Current cases: 2,414 (caseng)

  • Washington County (High in Transmission Index): 598.12 per 100,000 rate in 14 days, down since September 23
  • Iron County (high): 948.23, declining
  • Kane County (high): 481.87, declining
  • Garfield County (high): rising 1,128.49
  • Beaver County (High): Increasing 581.22

Hospitalization: 67 (constant)

Deaths: 369 (18 since September 23)

New Infections Per Day in Southern Utah:

  • Friday (Oct. 1): 150
  • Saturday (Oct 2nd): 145
  • Sunday (Oct. 3): 88
  • Monday (Oct. 4): 58
  • Tuesday (Oct. 5): 83
  • Wednesday (October 6th): 127
  • Thursday (October 7th): 107
  • Friday (Oct. 8): 131

Current 7-day average for Utah: 1,424 (continuous)

Fully Vaccinated in Southern Utah: 107,847 (42.8% fully vaccinated, +1.2% since 23.09.)

  • St. George: 46.65% fully vaccinated (+1.25%)
  • Cedar City: 37.84% (+1.49%)
  • Washington City: 42.81% (+1.24%)
  • Ivins / Santa Clara: 49.23% (+ 0.79%)
  • Hurricane / LaVerkin: 36.11% (+1.09%)
  • Enterprise / Veyo / Springdale / Hildale: 41.62% (+1.03%)
  • Beaver / Garfield / Kane counties: 41.04% (+1.17%)

Southern Utah is training active COVID-19 infections (as of Friday, according to Utah Department of Health)

NOTE: The Utah Department of Health currently only provides ranges of the number of infections in each district and does not provide exact numbers. Overall, the numbers may be too low as not all student infections are reported to the state.

    • Washington County School District: 36 to 108 (falling since September 23)
    • Iron County School District: 18 to 57 (decreasing)
    • Kane County School District: 1-4 (decreasing)
    • Garfield County School District: 4-16 (descending)
    • Beaver County School District: 3-12 (descending)
    • Southwest Utah Charter Schools: 11-20 (increasing)
    • Southwest Utah Private Schools: 0 (falling)

Schools in yellow (At risk of moving to test-to-stay): None
Schools in red (Students / staff must test negative to participate): None
Top 5 schools: Gateway Preparatory Academy (Southwest Utah Charter) 8 active infections, Dixie High (Washington) 6, Crimson Cliffs High (Washington) 6, Iron Springs School (Iron) 5, several others with 1-4 infections.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Those who are currently able to receive the first dose of the vaccine: All ages 12 and up. The 12-18 can only get the Pfizer vaccine. Use Find clinics that have the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Those who can get the second dose: Those who received their first injection 28 days or more before the appointment.
  • Those who can get a booster dose: Those who have previously received Pfizer or Moderna and are immunocompromised.
  • The Southwest Utah Health Department and most pharmacies and stores offer appointments to visit.
  • Must wear a short-sleeved shirt to the appointment and should have ID.
  • Vaccinations are free.

Washington District:

Where: Southwest Utah Public Health Department St. George Office, 620 p. 400 East, St. George

For hours and further information: Click here

Iron District:

Where: Southwest Utah Public Health Department Cedar City Office, 260 DL Sargent Dr., Cedar City, 84721.

For hours and further information: Click here

Kane County:

Where: Southwest Utah Public Health Department Kanab Office, 445 N. Main St., Kanab.

For hours and further information: Click here

County Garfield:

Where: Southwest Utah Health Department Panguitch Office, 601 Center St., Panguitch.

For hours and further information: Click here

Beaver County:

Where: Southwest Utah Health Department Beaver Office, 75 1175 North, Biber.

For hours and further information: Click here

St. George Regional Hospital / Intermountain Healthcare:

Where: 400 East Campus St. George Regional Hospital, 544 p. 400 East, St. George.

Reservations: Click here to register

FourPoints Health:

Where: Different locations.

For hours and further information: Click here

Adore health:

Where: Revere Health Campus, 2825 E. Mall Drive, St. George.

Reservations: Call (435) 673-6131 to see if a vaccine is available.


Where: 745 N Dixie Dr in St. Georg and 915 Red Cliffs Dr. in Washington City.

Reservations: Click here to register


Where: 1189 E. 700 South in St. Georg and 3520 Pioneer Parkway in Santa Clara.

Reservations: Click here to register

Lin’s marketplace:

Where: 1930 W. Sunset Boulevard. and 2928 E. Mall Drive in St. Georg, 1120 State-St. in hurricane and 150 N Hauptstr. in cedar town.

Reservations: Click here to register

Smith’s Food and Drug:

Where: 20 N. Bluff-Str. and 565 S. Mall Drive in St. Georg and 633 S. Mainstr. in cedar town.

Reservations: Click here to register


Where: 275 S River Road. in St. Georg.

Reservations: Click here to register


Where: 2610 Pioneer Rd. in St. Georg, 625 W. Telegraph St. in Washington City, 180 N. 3400 West in hurricane and 1330 S. Providence Center Dr. in cedar town.

Reservations: Click here to register

Family pharmacies:

Where: Multiple locations

Reservations: Use to find a location near you

COVID-19 information resources

St. George News has made every effort to ensure that the information in this story is accurate at the time of its preparation. However, as the situation and science surrounding the coronavirus evolve, it is possible that some data has changed.

Refer to the following resources for the latest information and resources.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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