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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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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