Wasatch Back Hospitals are reporting they have ample healthy staff and personal protective gear but that isn’t stopping them from preparing for a potential surge.
While Summit County Health Department has not published the number of hospitalizations in the county, Wasatch County Health Department has reported four of their cases have been hospitalized at both the Heber and Park City hospitals. Heber Valley Hospital Administrator Si Hutt explains patient care is based on the individual case.
“Park City does have an intensive care unit that's the main difference between the two hospitals," Hutt explained. "So, between Heber Valley Hospital and Park City Hospital we will be able to take care of most patients on the Wasatch Back. There will be some patients that we’ll transfer to our tertiary hospitals because we think that's in their best interest given the situation.”
Hutt says as of right now the Wasatch Back hospitals have the staff and personal protection equipment that they need to provide health care to patients.
“That hospitals are safe," Hutt continued. "We are able to take care of our patients whether they present with COVID-19 symptoms, or with any other emergency, or need to have a baby, or need to come in for a test that needs to be done right now. So, all of those services are open and available. We're taking extra precautions have screeners of the door, etc. We want to limit visitors and we want to limit those that don't need to be at a hospital for something right now, but we are able to take care of the full range of patients that we always have been.”
Although the hospital won’t say how many ventilators they have, Hutt says they do have them available and that resources are shared throughout the Intermountain Health Care system. IHC has also expanded their ability to test for COVID-19. Those with symptoms can be evaluated and tested near the Park City ice arena. Curbside testing is also available outside the Heber Instacare.
“If you're feeling symptoms that are severe and feel that you need to go to the emergency department, we would encourage you to go to the nearest emergency department," Hutt said. "Call ahead, that really helps us to know that you're coming and to be prepared for when you come.”
Hutt says they’re working with nonprofits to produce more masks for healthcare workers but for now their asking residents to not drop off homemade cloth masks or other items
“Please don't bring anything and drop off things either for patients, or for our caregivers," Hutt continued. "In lieu of drop off donations, somebody could consider giving online which would be great. The phone number there is 801-442-3443 and that would certainly be helpful, but we're asking people not to donate at the hospitals at this time.”
Hutt thanked the community for their outpouring and assured them that the hospital is prepared to take care of infectious patients.