Overwhelmed with COVID-19, Rogue Valley hospitals being stretched thin

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. —The Oregon Health Authority reported nearly 1400 new Covid-19 cases statewide. But it’s hospitals locally, that are being strained most.

Local hospitals are feeling the burden. Health systems are so backed up I’m told wait times for patients could range up to 5 hours, at times.

“We’re at 100% capacity almost across the entire system,” said Asante Three Rivers Medical Director, Dr. Christopher David.

Covid-19 cases continue to skyrocket in Oregon. Hospitals say resources are getting stretched thin across the board.

“It’s exceedingly hard to prepare and have enough resources to handle that kind of surge of increase, and the last two weeks has only amplified that beyond what we could have expected,” said Dr. David.

The number of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 across Oregon Thursday is 457. That’s 35 more than Wednesday. There are 134 Covid-19 patients in intensive care, which also increased.

“Almost everything out there is delta variant and is more contagious, it’s causing more people to get ill even at a younger age and so we’re seeing it spread even further than it had before,” said Dr. David.

Asante Three Rivers say its ICU is at capacity. It started boarding patients in the emergency department due to the lack of available beds.

“It’s a constant struggle when you’re running at 99% percent capacity at all times,” said Dr. David.

Providence in Medford says it’s going through the same struggle.

“It’s worse now than it was when the pandemic first started for us,” said CEO of Providence Medical Center, Chris Pizzi.

It says wait times fluctuate depending on the severity of your condition. But wait times could be upwards of hours.

“The emergency rooms, the urgent cares are all being overwhelmed,” said Pizzi.

Most elective surgeries have already been canceled.

“It’s very complicated having to work through this and it’s a very difficult situation for all our health care providers,” said Pizzi.

The hospitals say people should avoid coming in, when possible. Getting tested or getting the vaccine, should not be done at local hospitals.

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NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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