Missoula City County Health Department COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr provided the most recent update on infection and hospitalization numbers in a YouTube video Friday afternoon, just after a big press conference dealing with the overall situation in Missoula.
“Yesterday, hospitalizations in Missoula broke the record for the highest we have seen during the pandemic, with 46 patients hospitalized, and today that number is even higher with 48 patients hospitalized for COVID,” Farr said. “The previous record occurred last November with 43 hospitalized patients. Just a reminder that when we report hospitalizations, these are people who are hospitalized in order to treat their COVID symptoms, not just people who test positive before having a procedure or other intervention. “
Farr also provided an update on the hospitalization.
“Earlier this week, Providence St. Patrick’s Hospital announced that its COVID-19 patients are sorting in their ambulance areas because they are running out of space to do so due to the high volume of patients showing symptoms of COVID. . ” she said. “Providence also says that these patients are largely unvaccinated and also younger, with the average patient being between 45 and 50 years old. Today they said they are seeing people in their 20s and 30s requiring hospitalization. To put that into perspective, last winter the average age of a hospitalized COVID patient was 80. “
Farr is also tied at the Community Medical Center.
“The Community Medical Center and Providence St. Patrick’s Hospital are begging the public to get vaccinated,” she said. “Other hospitals outside of Missoula County have plans to move to so-called ‘crisis care standards’ very quickly if they have to. These hospitals include Billings Clinic and Bozeman Deaconess. Crisis care standards essentially mean that hospitals must ration patient care and prioritize those patients who are most likely to survive, and in some cases provide only pain relief or comfort. ‘to those who are less likely to survive without invasive measures, such as ventilation.
To conclude her video presentation, Farr listed all the methods she hopes residents of Missoula will return to using to mitigate the spread of COVID 19.
“I guess the message we’re trying to get across is that we really need to get back to where we were in the spring of 2020 when we were ‘screaming’ for our healthcare workers to show them we’re supporting them,” she said. “We were limiting our social interactions to reduce the risk of infection. We were trying to flatten the curve to protect our health care resources. We need to get back to that mindset and do all we can as individuals and as a community to reduce this pressure on our health care and public health infrastructure. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, keep your social circle small, and get vaccinated if you can. This is how we are going to prevent our hospitals from keeping up with what is happening in Idaho and having to ration care for their patients. “
Watch the You Tube presentation here.