Jackson Co. hospitals prepare for possible COVID-19 surge

MEDFORD, Ore. – With people still traveling this holiday season hospitals in the Rogue Valley are preparing for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases.

Even before Christmas, hospital ICU beds were filling up across the region. Jackson Co. Public Health said all hands are on deck for what could become a surge in the coming weeks.

Dr. Jim Shames told NBC5 it’s not just people traveling, putting hospitals on edge. It’s also staff members getting sick, as well as residents in nursing facilities contracting the virus.

“Hospitals are ready for the surge, no one’s looking forward to the surge. We’re hoping we don’t get a surge. But they’ve been working on contingency plans for months now,” said Dr. Shames.

Dr. Shames said now that more healthcare workers are getting vaccinated he’s hopeful staff members won’t contract the virus. Oregon Health Authority said about 1/3 fewer COVID-19 patients are in ICU beds compared to the peak three weeks ago.

Providence Medford Medical Center said in a statement earlier Monday it hopes to see the downward trend continue, but is prepared in the event cases to shift back up

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