Incident Commander Cindy Farr with Missoula COVID 19 Update
Missoula City County Health Department COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr provided the most recent update on infection and hospitalization numbers in a You Tube video on Friday afternoon, just after a major press conference dealing with the overall situation in Missoula.
“Yesterday, hospitalizations in Missoula broke the record for the highest that we've seen during the pandemic, with 46 patients hospitalized, and today that number is even higher with 48 patients hospitalized for COVID,” said Farr. “The previous record occurred last November with 43 patients hospitalized. Just a reminder that when we're reporting hospitalizations, these are people that are hospitalized in order to treat their COVID symptoms, not just people who happen to test positive prior to having a procedure or some other intervention.”
Farr also provided a hospitalization update.
“Earlier this week, Providence St. Patrick Hospital announced that their triage-ing COVID-19 patients in their ambulance bays, as they've run out of space to do this due to the high volume of patients coming in with COVID symptoms,” she said. “Providence also says that these patients are largely unvaccinated and also younger, with the average patient being aged 45 to 50. Today they reported that they're seeing some people in their 20’s and 30’s requiring hospitalization. To put that into perspective, last winter the average age of a hospitalized COVID patient was 80.”
Farr tied in Community Medical Center, as well.
“Community Medical Center and Providence St. Patrick hospital are begging the public to get vaccinated,” she said. “Other hospitals outside of Missoula County have made plans to move to what's called ‘crisis standards of care’ very quickly if they have to. Those hospitals include Billings Clinic and Bozeman Deaconess. Crisis standards of care essentially means that hospitals must ration care to patients and prioritize patients who are more likely to survive, and in some instances only provide pain relief or comfort for those who are less likely to survive without invasive measures, such as ventilation.”
Wrapping up her video presentation, Farr listed all the methods she hope Missoula residents will start using again to mitigate the spread of COVID 19.
“I guess the message that we're trying to get out is that we really need to go back to where we were in the spring of 2020 when we were ‘howling’ for our health care workers to show them that we support them,” she said. “We were limiting our social interactions to reduce the chances that we would become infected. We were trying to flatten the curve to protect our health care resources. We need to go back to that mindset and do everything that we can as individuals and as a community to reduce this pressure on our healthcare and our public health infrastructure. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, keep your social circle small and get vaccinated if you can. This is how we're going to keep our hospitals from following what's happening in Idaho and having to ration care to their patients.”
Watch the You Tube presentation here.
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