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Local COVID-19 hospitalizations reflects state-wide surge

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - COVID-19 hospitalizations are up 25% in Iowa since last week.

According to the Iowa Department of Public health, that’s nearly 500 people - the most hospitalizations we’ve seen since mid-January.

Right now there are 122 patients hospitalized at UnityPoint Health in Cedar Rapids and 22 of those are COVID-19 cases. With 144 medical surgical beds, they are now at 90% capacity.

The local surge matches the increase seen state-wide. Dr. Dustin Arnold says this surge is different from the increase in hospitalizations we saw last spring. Part of the reason for the surge has to do with transmission rate among the unvaccinated.

“I think some of the increased hospitalizations are ill, but previously we wouldn’t have admitted because at that time we were saying you don’t require oxygen and we’re trying to keep people out of the hospital because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Dr. Arnold.

Now that they can provide more preventative measures in the early stages of covid, they are accepting more positive cases.

“Those same patients, now we’re saying let’s put you in the hospital. Because we know if we can get the steroids early, and remdesivir, and monoclonal antibodies then we can keep you from getting more ill,” said Dr. Arnold.

He says they have various plans put in place to add beds and divide staff in order to accommodate a large number of hospitalizations.

“I want the public to know, there will be a critical care bed if you need it,” said Dr. Arnold. “The concern, what I loose sleep over is is that going to be at the expense delaying a surgery that might be needed or delaying routine or preventative care because we had to move a nurse or clear a schedule.”

Of the 22 hospitalized with COVID at UnityPoint, 4 are in the medical care unit and 16 are on the medical surgical floor.

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