Eastern Iowa hospitals ready for potential surge, encourage other patients to come

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 10:43 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Multiple hospitals in eastern Iowa told TV9 they are ready for any potential surge after the holiday season.

More Americans traveled during the holidays than any other time since the pandemic began, which means COVID-19 is more likely to spread.

Leaders for Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint–St. Luke’s, and MercyOne Dubuque said they are not at capacity, like other hospitals in other states.

Dr. Dustin Arnold, who is the chief medical officer of UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids, said it’s important people don’t delay care if they’re concerned about going to a hospital because of the virus.

“Do not delay care, do not postpone care, if you need care come,” Arnold said. “The transmission rate in a hospital is low. It’s extremely low.”

Arnold said hospitals are likely safer because of superior air circulation and filtration systems, along with everyone wearing masks.

Hospitalizations, as of Tuesday, remained relatively steady the past two weeks. But, multiple hospital leaders said it could take weeks to see a spike in cases coming from people traveling during the holidays.

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