The intensive care units are overcrowded with COVID patients and that is delaying some surgeries

Coronavirus hospital admissions have more than doubled in the past two months. Utah reports 559 new cases and 4 more deaths.

(Courtesy photo of Intermountain Healthcare) Hospital staff at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray care for patients with COVID-19 on June 9, 2020.

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On May 20, 140 Utah residents with COVID-19 were hospitalized, 56 of them in intensive care units. Two months later, these numbers have more than doubled – 293 Utahners are in hospital because of the coronavirus and 123 in intensive care units.

At least one medical facility in Salt Lake City – the University of Utah Hospital – is delaying some elective surgeries due to the number of patients in their medical intensive care unit.

“We’re canceling several today and plan to cancel more tomorrow,” said hospital spokeswoman Kathy Wilets. Not all ICU patients suffer from COVID-19, but the number of coronavirus patients is driving the total number of patients up.

The numbers are constantly changing, but as of Tuesday lunchtime, 42% of the U. of U. Hospital’s medical intensive care patients were admitted with COVID-19, and there are also coronavirus patients in other parts of the hospital who do not require intensive care at this point. (Other facilities, including Intermountain Healthcare and MountainStar Health, didn’t have to postpone surgeries.)

“What makes this wave different is that we simply don’t have the staff to open new COVID units like we did last summer and fall,” said Wilets. “We continue to urge the community to get vaccinated if they haven’t already, so everyone can get the care they need.”

Vaccine doses given / total doses given on the previous day • 5,720 / 2,956,857.

Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,453,516.

Cases reported on the previous day • 559.

Deaths reported on the last day • Fourth, a Davis County man aged 85 or older, a Salt Lake County man between 45 and 64 years old, a Utah woman between 45 and 64 years old, and a Weber County woman between 65 and 84.

Tests reported on the previous day • 4,457 people were tested for the first time. A total of 7,712 people were tested.

Hospital stays reported on the last day • 293. That is 13 more than on Monday. Of the people currently hospitalized, 123 are in intensive care, two more than on Monday.

Percentage of positive tests • According to the state’s original method, the rate is 12.5%. That’s less than the 7-day average of 13.5%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same person. Tuesday’s rate was 7.2%, lower than the 7-day average of 9.3%

[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

Previous sums • 424,730 cases; 2,420 deaths; 18,170 hospital stays; 2,867,449 people tested.

This story evolves and is updated.

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