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Some hospitals running out of space for COVID patients

Posted at 10:07 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 23:07:47-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As coronavirus cases in Omaha continue to be on the rise, hospitals are setting a new low when it comes to open beds.

According to the Omaha Metro Healthcare Coalition, during the first peak of the pandemic in May, Omaha hospitals had an occupancy rate of 74 percent.

On Monday, as UNMC doctors warned the community of dwindling space, the occupancy rate was set at 82 percent.

“The largest surge of cases and hospitalizations we have seen is currently upon us," said John Lowe, M.D., assistant vice chancellor of health security at UNMC.

Just two days later, that number had grown to 88%. The metro is setting a new record low for hospital space almost every day.

Still, CHI Health tells another story.

“We look at our data, and we look at the data every day, and are watching these numbers change and are quite frankly at this point not concerned," said CHI CEO, Cliff Roberston, M.D.

As of Wednesday, CHI has an occupancy rate of 67 percent. Robertson says across their 14 hospital system, they are only caring for 75 COVID patients, 35 of which are in the ICU.

And across the river, Iowa has set another grim record. On Tuesday 444 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, a new record high for the state. But Governor Kim Reynolds said her team has gotten feedback from healthcare workers on the situation.

“They assured us that they're able to manage the capacity, and they have the resources that they need and most importantly that they're prepared," Reynolds said.

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