Have you read the news from Minnesota?
The daily scene at Regions is playing out in ICUs across Minnesota as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 sweeps across the state. Open ICU beds were down to single digits in some parts of Minnesota last week, when Gov. Tim Walz ordered a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and entertainment and fitness establishments in hopes of slowing the virus’ spread to alleviate pressure on hospitals.
From Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar to Regions, ICU beds are filling as quickly as they are opening up. Statewide, 79% of available ICU beds are filled, and 26% filled with COVID-19 patients.
The state’s capacity of open ICU beds has declined about one percentage point per day the past two weeks — raising the probability that some of the 408 ICU surge beds might need to be activated in unused hospital and nursing home wings.
“There’s no beds anywhere,” said Dr. Matthew Klee, whose ICU at Mercy is full and under pressure to take patients throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. “It’s become like a game of chess over the entire state.”
More worrisome are the growing infections among health care workers who then can’t care for patients.
HealthPartners on Friday reported 308 workers absent due to COVID-19 infections and 414 who were quarantined due to viral exposures. Collectively, the Allina Health, CentraCare and Mayo Clinic systems reported more than 3,000 such absences last week.
Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home.
You don’t need to go gallivanting off to visit family this weekend. Really, you don’t.