Sky Lakes Medical Ctr. hits capacity ahead of Thanksgiving

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. —  “We have 19 covid patients, and 3 of those being in the ICU with a total of 3 unvaccinated that are admitted, inpatient,” said Chief Nursing Officer at Sky Lakes Medical Center, Ron Woita.

Despite a vaccine clinic that’s open every day and a giant campaign geared towards getting the un-vaccinated in Klamath County vaccinated, Sky Lakes Medical Center announced Monday afternoon its hit capacity.

“That level can move back and forth from day to day, just depending on what resources are available and needed by the patients.”

Woita says variables such as short staffing can play a part in the hospital hitting capacity in comparison to how many patients are in the ICU.

Another factor, he says, is people who are stuck in the ICU for a long duration due to severe covid complications.

“Typically when patients come into the hospital and are severely impacted by COVID, people can stay long term for weeks and weeks,” he said.

Woita recognizes there’s a very real possibility of a surge following the holidays, “There may be some spread as we get into the holidays as people are coming into the area and others are going to other states.”

He believes the Conquer COVID in Klamath campaign, designed to give prizes such as trips to Disneyland and money to people who get vaccinated, is helping make a difference… despite capacity being reached again.

“I think it’s another tool to help people get vaccinated. I think it is helping, yes, because there are prizes attached,” said Wiota.

If you’re interested in getting vaccinated or learning more about the campaign, visit conquercovidinklamath.com.

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Mariah Mills
NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.