Morris Hospital remains at a critical point, despite fewer COVID hospitalizations

On Tuesday, Morris Hospital had 28 COVID hospitalizations, about 47% of the total hospitalized patients.

However, the hospital is still in a very "fluid" situation, Mark Steadham, President & CEO of Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers said in a news release from Morris Hospital.

Morris Hospital reached an all-time all-time high of 41 hospitalized COVID patients last week and postponed surgeries that required an overnight stay.

Although the hospital has not postponed any more surgeries, the surgery schedule is evaluated each day to assure beds will be available the next day for patients who will require an overnight hospital stay, the release said.

"For a hospital our size with 89 total beds, it doesn’t take much to put us at capacity," Steadham said in the release. "That’s what happened last week when we had 29 admissions in a 24 hour period.”

Yet, even with the reduction in COVID hospitalizations in the past few days, 28 COVID positive inpatients is considerably higher than Morris Hospital experienced during the first wave last spring, the release said.

Morris Hospital previous peak was April 24 with 14 inpatients positive for COVID-19. But people need to understand that this new surge had been predicted for months, Steadham said in the release.

"At the end of October, we were averaging about 10 hospitalized COVID patients per day. Two weeks later, we jumped up to the 20s, and then last week we were in the 30s and went as high as 41," Steadham said in the release. "That is a considerable increase for us.”

Steadham said what happens next will be dependent on people's behaviors over the coming days and weeks.

“Across the country, we have seen a pattern of COVID-19 spread after Memorial Day, after Fourth of July, after Labor Day, and even two weeks after Halloween,” Steadham said in the release. “This last surge has been more detrimental than anything we’ve experienced before, putting us at a critical point with the virus."

Steadham urged the community to not "let down your guard."

" It’s time to be more vigilant than ever," Steadham said in the release, "and that’s why we are urging everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving and the holidays responsibly. This is how you can keep your loved ones safe and help your local hospitals and health care providers.”

For more information, about COVID-19, including testing availability, and to watch a video Dr. Dana Howd urging everyone to reconsider Thanksgiving plans if they include large gatherings, visit morrishospital.org.