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Local hospitals feeling more confident facing the current surge in COVID-19 cases

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 11:46 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Unity Point Health is feeling much more prepared for a surge in cases than it did back in March when the coronavirus first started taking off.

As local positive COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dustin Arnold says he isn’t worried about the hospital being overwhelmed.

“We’re status green on pharmacy, blood, personal protective equipment, every place we need to be, we are doing well,” says Dr. Arnold. He says the hospital first started to get back on its feet in May, and now they have a better understanding of how the virus works and most importantly, how to treat it.

“We knew what to expect, we knew how to handle it, we had convalescent plasma, we had remdesivir at that time.”

Doctors say they didn’t have enough PPE before, but now they have plenty. They say they also have more than enough room to accommodate a rise in cases.

Dr. Tony Myers, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Mercy Medical Center, says both hospitals have even decreased intensive care unit space because they over-prepared by three times what they ended up needing.

“While we decreased capacity, we still have double of what we normally have, that would easily take care of a similar surge we saw in April,” says Dr. Myers. Despite their confidence in handling cases, doctors still warn that the danger isn’t over. The majority of the recent rise in cases has been 18-25-year-old people, but Dr. Meyers says he expects to see a more widespread impact within a few weeks.

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