Although executives say they see less severe illness in this wave of COVID-19, compared to the previous two waves.
HARTFORD, Connecticut – The high number of COVID cases in Connecticut is putting additional pressure on hospitals in the state. Right now, executives at Hartford HealthCare say they are treating 485 people with COVID-19 across their system. Among them, 65 are in intensive care.
Health officials say it’s important to note that some of these patients did not come because of COVID-19, but tested positive.
“It has a huge impact on our hospitals and our colleagues with the PPE allowances and safety precautions and everything in between,” said Dr Ajay Kumar, clinical director of Hartford HealthCare.
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Hartford HealthCare executives say the state is seeing an increase in cases, hospitalizations, as well as intensive care and ventilator use as the omicron variant spreads.
“If you look at our fan use like a pie, the majority of that pie is unvaccinated,” said Dr Ulysses Wu, chief infectious disease officer for Hartford HealthCare. “There is a small percentage of the pie that is vaccinated but not boosted, but they have co-morbidities at this point.”
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Hartford Hospital currently uses 48 ventilators in intensive care, but executives stress they have plenty of capacity.
As hospitals face an influx of COVID patients, so far this wave of illness is less severe.
“This flare is different from the first and second flare,” Dr Kumar said. “We have more tools, we have more knowledge, we have more wisdom on how to deal with disease.”
What they are facing this time around are concerns about staff fatigue. Executives at Hartford HealthCare have said employee well-being is something they monitor around the clock.
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Meanwhile, leaders said they were trying to meet the needs of the community by stepping up testing, installing trailers to increase capacity.
A test trailer opened at Saint Vincent Medical Center in Fairfield County on Friday despite the snow, and they hope to have seven sites within the communities within the next week.
“We’re doing about 4,000,” said Dr Jim Cardon, director of clinical integration at Hartford HealthCare. “Thirty thousand tests a week, 4,000 a day. This will increase our capacity by another 1,000 per day. “
The update comes just after Governor Ned Lamont, alongside Connecticut hospitals, announced that hospital workers would be required to receive booster shots.
Hartford HealthCare executives have so far said 55% of their healthcare workers have already received the extra blow in the arm.
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