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Hospitals in Cedar Rapids are seeing rising admissions for COVID-19 as delta variant spreads

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - More people are getting admitted to the hospital locally for COVID-19, compared with the spring when vaccines became widely available.

“At the end of May and early June we got really down to where we were going many, often several days without having an admission at all,” Dr. Tony Myers, the vice president of medical affairs at Mercy Medical Center, said. “For the last week and a half, we’ve started to see almost daily admissions.”

Currently, 4 people are hospitalized at Mercy with the virus, 2 of them are in their 30s.

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital has 9 people in the hospital with COVID-19. 3 of the patients are in intensive care.

“It’s either get the vaccination or, essentially, get the disease,” Myers said.

Nearly everyone admitted for the virus to the Cedar Rapids hospitals at this point are unvaccinated.

“Don’t refuse the vaccine because you believe it’s unsafe or ineffective because that’s been proven not to be true,” Dr. Dustin Arnold, the chief medical officer at St. Luke’s, said.

Despite more hospitalizations, medical leaders say they’re not worried about capacity at St. Luke’s or Mercy at this time, even with the delta variant.

“We know we can accept the capacity of a surge, we did, handled it successfully,” Arnold said.

“Given the fact that we have quite a few people in Linn County vaccinated and a lot of people have had the condition already, we will never get to where we will be overwhelmed, we’re not concerned about that,” Myers said.

They’re still urging people who can, to get the shot.

“We haven’t had any deaths in a vaccinated person at all,” Myers said.

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