surge

medicine

UW Medicine to reschedule some procedures; hospitals agree to share surge

Responding to a surge in COVID-19 caseloads, UW Medicine has decided to postpone surgeries that are not urgent but would require hospitalization afterward, according to an internal email and confirmed by a spokesperson. 

UW Medicine’s action comes as Washington state’s hospitals earlier this week reached an agreement on how to handle the ongoing rise of COVID-19 patients statewide — committing to one another that “no hospital will go into crisis standards alone.” 

Crisis standards are when hospitals are so overwhelmed they cannot provide the typical standard of care, and they are left to triage resources and decide who will receive treatment and who will be left to die. 

The hospitals’ commitment — which expand on agreements reached before the first surge of COVID-19 in spring — says all of the state’s acute care hospitals will make “concrete plans” to scale back on elective procedures as needed, reserve intensive care units for COVID-19 or emergency cases, and readily accept patient transfers from other parts of the state.

It aims to ensure hospitals will work closely with one another and communicate to prevent individual facilities from becoming overwhelmed when others have capacity.  

“It’s essentially to try to manage — all across the system — the capacity,” said Cassie Sauer, of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), which convened a videoconference Monday for the state’s hospital leaders. “In the places that have gone to crisis standards, those doctors and nurses, I’m not sure their soul will ever be the same.” 

Sauer said hospitals hope to create more slack in the system by collaborating closely together and establishing clear communication. Hospitals must document if they deny the transfer of a patient and inform their chief executive officer if a transfer is denied. 

Statewide, as of 4 p.m. Friday, 78% of acute care beds were occupied, according to WSHA. Nearly 84% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and almost 75% of the ICU beds in airborne infection isolation rooms were in use — numbers higher than two weeks ago.

Sauer said many Washington hospitals, including UW Medicine and Swedish, are beginning to more aggressively scale back on elective procedures.  

“All non-urgent patients who need to occupy a bed [post-operation] for any length of time will be rescheduled,” wrote UW Medical Center CEO Cindy Hecker and Harborview Medical Center CEO Paul Hayes in a message to colleagues Nov. 19. The rescheduling will begin Nov. 23 and continue through Feb. 1, according to the message.  

Procedures for outpatients and in urgent or emergent cases will continue, Hecker and Hayes wrote. 

UW Medicine spokesperson Susan Gregg said the hospital system is “actively contacting” patients whose surgeries will be postponed. 

“Each individual case is being reviewed based on medical urgency and whether the patient would need to be hospitalized after the surgery,” Gregg said in a statement Friday.  

UW Medicine was caring for 77 COVID-19 patients across its campuses as of Thursday. On Oct. 1, the hospital system was caring for 20.  

Dr. Elizabeth Wako, chief medical officer at

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medicine

Wear masks, Michigan Medicine leaders tell public as hospitalizations surge

ANN ARBOR, MI — Michigan Medicine leaders are calling on the public to not let its guard down as hospitals across the state experience rapid surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

It’s imperative Michigan caregivers stay healthy so they can take care of an expected surge in cases this winter, Marschall Runge, Michigan Medicine CEO and dean of the University of Michigan’s medical school, said in a Thursday, Nov. 18 news conference that also announced a joint nationwide campaign to encourage mask wearing.

Michigan Medicine has joined around 100 of the nation’s top health care systems in the #MaskUp campaign, which urges all Americans to mask up, in an effort to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Runge said.

A large surge in cases requiring hospitalizations for COVID-19 due to the lack of adherence to mitigation strategies has the potential to overwhelm health systems, said Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology.

“I’m very glad that we at Michigan Medicine are joining with healthcare systems nationwide to encourage the simple behaviors that are proven to work: Mask up, socially distance, wash your hands,” Washer said.

Like many other hospitals across the state, Michigan Medicine is facing short staffing, Runge said, adding the healthcare system is developing a plan to make sure it can provide necessary care.

“Given the widespread community transmission, hospitals are also managing staffing limitations due to employee illness, absences and responsibilities for childcare,” Washer said.

During the past three weeks, Michigan Medicine has seen an increase in COVID-19 patients, Runge said. This week alone, Michigan Medicine had as many as 75 COVID-19 positive patients at one time, with up to 20 of them being critically ill and requiring ICU care, officials said.

“Following the spring and early summer COVID surge — the first wave, so to speak — we resumed care of many non-COVID patients that need hospitalization, and our hospitals are about 90% full as a result,” Runge said. “With that high occupancy, which we did manage pre-COVID, that puts additional strain on our response to the pandemic.”

The health system’s testing capacity is approximately 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, while its laboratories continue to develop new strategies to implement different types of COVID tests, officials said.

Michigan Medicine’s testing results recently showed about 14% of those tested are testing positive for COVID, well above the 5% mark reported for most of the summer months, Runge said.

“At Michigan Medicine, and all of Michigan’s healthcare providers, we need your help,” Runge said. “To combat a pandemic we need supplies, we need space and most importantly staff.”

The increased hospital capacity is putting a burden on the number of beds, as well as staff and healthcare providers, Runge said. A large surge of cases also carries a risk of challenging the amount of personal protective equipment required to keep healthcare workers safe, health officials said.

The number of confirmed cases in Michigan reached more than 277,800 this week, including 8,190 deaths.

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fitness

Walz to temporarily close bars, restaurants and fitness centers as COVID-19 cases surge

Gov. Tim Walz will impose new restrictions on bars, restaurants and fitness centers starting Friday, closing them down to the public four weeks as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

Bars and restaurants will still be allowed to offer takeout services during that time, according to a source with knowledge of the restrictions. The new restrictions will also include a temporary pause on youth sports activities.

Walz will deliver an address to Minnesotans at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the latest steps in his response to COVID-19.

The restrictions come days after the governor implemented a 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants and put restrictions on bar seating and games.

But Minnesota health officials have warned the state is heading to a dangerous phase of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the state reported 26 new COVID-19 deaths and 5,945 new coronavirus infections, with 1,669 people with COVID-19 occupying inpatients beds in Minnesota and 346 needing intensive care — a record number of hospitalizations.

Republicans in the Legislature are asking Walz to announce the new restrictions immediately to help restaurants and bars plan for the changes.

“Minnesotans recognize how grave the situation is with COVID-19 spreading uncontrolled throughout the state,” said Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar. “We’re ready to do our part for our health care workers, no matter how difficult the coming weeks will be, and prevent a capacity crisis for our hospitals and health care facilities. But we need to do this together with transparency.”

Briana Bierschbach • 612-673-4689

———

©2020 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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medicine

Michigan Medicine announces restrictions to visitors as statewide COVID-19 cases surge

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine announced Monday it has added visitor restrictions at its hospitals and clinics to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to protect patients and staff.

Visitors are no longer allowed in the adult emergency department, except when medically necessary.

Its visitor policy at its adult hospitals and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital remains unchanged: one visitor per day per adult and two for pediatric patients. Visitors, including family, are required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all Michigan Medicine properties, including inside a patient’s room. Patients who are able to tolerate a mask must wear one in the presence of a health care worker.

No visitors will be allowed in clinics for adult patients unless the patient has a physical or cognitive impairment that requires assistance. For pediatric patients, one primary caregiver is allowed at an appointment, unless an additional assistant or aide is required.

Exceptions to the new restrictions include end-of-life care, labor and delivery and other scenarios which are listed here.

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“We recognize the critical role that visitors – families and friends – play in the well-being of our patients. However, as the spread of COVID-19 hits record-setting levels across the state, we need to minimize the risk of transmission,” Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology, said in a statement.

“Our top priority is the safety of our patients and our staff. We hope that by adding these restrictions, we will better protect everyone from COVID-19,” Washer continued. “We need to continue to keep our Michigan Medicine facilities safe for all of our patients.”

Since the pandemic began in March, Michigan Medicine has been taking steps to keep staff and patients safe, including screening patients for symptoms, cleaning and disinfecting facilities, moving furniture to observe social distancing and following the latest guidelines to minimize infections.

“Many people in our facilities are very sick or have weakened immune systems, which places them at higher risk,” Washer said in a statement. “Limiting visitors and requiring a mask at all times will help reduce the spread of infection.”

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health

COVID hospitalizations surge as pandemic enters alarming new phase in U.S.

Americans went to the polls Tuesday under the shadow of a resurging pandemic, with an alarming increase in cases nationwide and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states.

While daily infections were rising in all but three states, the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest.

Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and New Mexico all reported record high hospitalizations this week. Nebraska’s largest hospitals started limiting elective surgeries and looked to bring in nurses from other states to cope with the surge. Hospital officials in Iowa and Missouri warned bed capacity could soon be overwhelmed.

The resurgence loomed over candidates and voters, fearful of both the virus itself and the economic toll of any new shutdowns to control its spread. The debate over how far to take economically costly measures has divided a country already sharply polarized over President Donald Trump’s turbulent four years in office.

The infection rate is definitely a leading indicator for hospitalizations, and the hospitalization rate is a leading indicator of mortality.

Meanwhile, Iowa hospital officials warned their facilities and staff could be overwhelmed without serious efforts to curtail the virus spread. The state’s seven-day rolling average of positive cases reached 36.4 percent over the weekend, the third-highest in the nation behind South Dakota and Wyoming, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations reached a record 730 on Monday.

Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said Iowa is entering its third peak, one that is higher than previous ones in May and July. He said his biggest concern is that this peak comes at the beginning of the cold weather season, when the flu and other respiratory conditions typically increase hospitalizations.

“The infection rate is definitely a leading indicator for hospitalizations, and the hospitalization rate is a leading indicator of mortality,” Gunasekaran said.

Related: Pediatric cases now account for 11% of all cases in the U.S., up from 2% in April.

Health officials in Nebraska said hospitalizations have doubled in recent weeks, reaching a record 613 on Sunday.

“No doubt if this trend continues — not just at our hospitals — but every hospital in the state could be at capacity in a very short period of time,” Dr. Cary Ward, chief medical officer for CHI Health’s network of 14 hospitals across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa said during a video call with reporters.

In Missouri, leaders of several rural hospitals raised alarms about bed capacity during a conference call Monday with Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who drew renewed fire from his Democratic election challenger for his refusal to issue a statewide mask mandate. The state health department reported 1,659 hospitalizations statewide, surpassing by 10 the previous record set a day earlier. Among the five additional deaths reported Monday was a 13-year-old boy, the first child under 14 to die from the virus in Missouri.

In Colorado, officials said more residents have been hospitalized with the

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health

Covid hospitalizations surge as virus enters alarming new phase in U.S.

Americans went to the polls Tuesday under the shadow of a resurging pandemic, with an alarming increase in cases nationwide and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states.

While daily infections were rising in all but three states, the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest.

Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and New Mexico all reported record high hospitalizations this week. Nebraska’s largest hospitals started limiting elective surgeries and looked to bring in nurses from other states to cope with the surge. Hospital officials in Iowa and Missouri warned bed capacity could soon be overwhelmed.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The resurgence loomed over candidates and voters, fearful of both the virus itself and the economic toll of any new shutdowns to control its spread. The debate over how far to take economically costly measures has divided a country already sharply polarized over President Donald Trump’s turbulent four years in office.

Meanwhile, Iowa hospital officials warned their facilities and staff could be overwhelmed without serious efforts to curtail the virus spread. The state’s seven-day rolling average of positive cases reached 36.4 percent over the weekend, the third-highest in the nation behind South Dakota and Wyoming, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations reached a record 730 on Monday.

Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said Iowa is entering its third peak, one that is higher than previous ones in May and July. He said his biggest concern is that this peak comes at the beginning of the cold weather season, when the flu and other respiratory conditions typically increase hospitalizations.

“The infection rate is definitely a leading indicator for hospitalizations, and the hospitalization rate is a leading indicator of mortality,” Gunasekaran said.

Health officials in Nebraska said hospitalizations have doubled in recent weeks, reaching a record 613 on Sunday.

“No doubt if this trend continues — not just at our hospitals — but every hospital in the state could be at capacity in a very short period of time,” Dr. Cary Ward, chief medical officer for CHI Health’s network of 14 hospitals across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa said during a video call with reporters.

In Missouri, leaders of several rural hospitals raised alarms about bed capacity during a conference call Monday with Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who drew renewed fire from his Democratic election challenger for his refusal to issue a statewide mask mandate. The state health department reported 1,659 hospitalizations statewide, surpassing by 10 the previous record set a day earlier. Among the five additional deaths reported Monday was a 13-year-old boy, the first child under 14 to die from the virus in Missouri.

In Colorado, officials said more residents have been hospitalized with the coronavirus than at any time since a peak in April. Flags were flying at half-staff in New Mexico, where death from COVID-19 surpassed 1,000 last week and hospitalizations reached a record 380

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health

Virus hospitalizations surge as pandemic shadows US election

Americans went to the polls Tuesday under the shadow of a resurging pandemic, with an alarming increase in cases nationwide and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states.

While daily infections were rising in all but three states, the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest.

Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana Nebraska, North Dakota, Colorado and New Mexico all reported record high hospitalizations this week. Nebraska’s largest hospitals started limiting elective surgeries and looked to bring in nurses from other states to cope with the surge. Hospital officials in Iowa and Missouri warned bed capacity could soon be overwhelmed.

The resurgence loomed over candidates and voters, fearful of both the virus itself and the economic toll of any new shutdowns to control its spread. The debate over how far to take economically costly measures has divided a country already sharply polarized over President Donald Trump’s turbulent four years in office.

The pandemic colored who voters chose at the ballot box and how they did it. While many Americans took advantage of expanded access to mail-in voting, lines were long in many polling places, with record turnout expected.

“It’s very serious that we have 400 people gathered in one space at the height of the pandemic here in Wisconsin. So, we’ve tried to take every measure to limit the movement throughout the room as possible,” said Claire Woodall-Vogg, the election commission director of the city of Milwaukee, where poll workers were spread out into 12 different pods to limit contact.

Iowa hospital officials warned their facilities and staff could be overwhelmed without serious efforts to curtail the virus spread. The state’s seven-day rolling average of positive cases reached 36.4% over the weekend, the third-highest in the nation behind South Dakota and Wyoming, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations reached a record 730 on Monday.


Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said Iowa is entering its third peak, one that is higher than previous ones in May and July. He said his biggest concern is that this peak comes at the beginning of the cold weather season, when the flu and other respiratory conditions typically increase hospitalizations.

“The infection rate is definitely a leading indicator for hospitalizations, and the hospitalization rate is a leading indicator of mortality,” Gunasekaran said.

Health officials in Nebraska said hospitalizations have doubled in recent weeks, reaching a record 613 on Sunday.

“No doubt if this trend continues — not just at our hospitals — but every hospital in the state could be at capacity in a very short period of time,” Dr. Cary Ward, chief medical officer for CHI Health’s network of 14 hospitals across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa said during a video call with reporters.

In Missouri, leaders of several rural hospitals raised alarms about bed capacity during a conference call Monday with Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who drew renewed fire from his Democratic election challenger for his refusal

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health

Americans head to polls amid harrowing surge in cases and hospitalizations

As Americans head to the voting booths Tuesday, the devastating Covid-19 pandemic looms: surging across the US yet again, setting grim records and forecast to take tens of thousands more lives across the country in the coming months.



a person wearing a blue hat: BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: An RN hands off a coronavirus sample to medical assistant Bettie Cleveland at a COVID-19 testing site set up by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall in Boston's Dorchester on Oct. 22, 2020. Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center set up mobile testing to help their community members who were disproportionally affected by COVID-19, the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan have seen some of the highest incident rates of the Coronavirus in Boston. In July of 2020 they began to administer tests in the city at various locations. The Grove Hall location is available for walk up testing every Thursday at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge from 10:00am - 3:00 PM. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


© Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 22: An RN hands off a coronavirus sample to medical assistant Bettie Cleveland at a COVID-19 testing site set up by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall in Boston’s Dorchester on Oct. 22, 2020. Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center set up mobile testing to help their community members who were disproportionally affected by COVID-19, the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan have seen some of the highest incident rates of the Coronavirus in Boston. In July of 2020 they began to administer tests in the city at various locations. The Grove Hall location is available for walk up testing every Thursday at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge from 10:00am – 3:00 PM. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Experts have warned this bout with the virus will be the worst one yet — and alarming trends are already pointing in that direction. In just one month, the country’s 7-day case average nearly doubled. Last week, the US reported 99,321 new cases — the highest single day number of infections recorded for any country. And at least 31 states set daily infection records last month.

Hospitalizations are also surging, with the number of patients nationwide rising by more than 10,000 in just two weeks, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. Hospitals in some parts of the country have hit their “breaking point.”

Hospital officials in El Paso, Texas, are now preparing to open the city’s civic center as an overflow medical facility and add a fourth mobile morgue.

And when hospitalizations climb, deaths are likely to follow, doctors have warned.

The virus’s spread has already changed the way Americans vote, as tens of millions of people have already voted by mail or prior to Election Day. People recovering from Covid-19 or quarantining from being exposed to the virus can still go vote, a spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN.

More than 231,500 people have died in the US and researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project a total of about 399,163 American lives lost by February 1.

The numbers will likely get worse before they get better and officials worry the upcoming holidays — and the gatherings that will come with them — will further fuel an already rampant spread into the winter months.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Public health measures touted by experts for months — including face masks, social distancing and regular hand washing — can help hold the virus down.

Health resources ‘stretched beyond belief’

At least 36 states are reporting more new cases than the previous week while only five

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health

US coronavirus: Americans head to polls amid harrowing Covid 19 surge

And when hospitalizations climb, deaths are likely to follow, doctors have warned.

More than 231,500 people have died in the US and researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project a total of about 399,163 American lives lost by February 1.

The numbers will likely get worse before they get better and officials worry the upcoming holidays — and the gatherings that will come with them — will further fuel an already rampant spread into the winter months. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Public health measures touted by experts for months — including face masks, social distancing and regular hand washing — can help hold the virus down.

Health resources ‘stretched beyond belief’

At least 36 states are reporting more new cases than the previous week while only five — Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee — are reporting a decline, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Working to combat the pandemic’s grip, some state leaders have pushed new measures in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont announced new guidelines including limiting restaurants to 50% capacity, with no more than eight people at a table and limiting indoor event spaces and theaters, among other restrictions. Lamont also recommended residents stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., a move he said would help limit socializing.

A 13-year-old Missouri boy's last day of school was in late October. He died from Covid-19 days later
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced a Stay-At-Home advisory, which will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. All gatherings — limited to 10 people in homes indoors and 25 people outside — need to end by 9:30 p.m., he said. Everyone over the age of 5 will also be required to wear a face covering in public.

Meanwhile in West Virginia, the governor sounded the alarm on the state’s infection rate and the resources stretched thin.

“When it boils right down to it, what I have done now I’ve taken an even more drastic step in trying to provide testing and our National Guard, local health departments are now being tested beyond belief and being stretched beyond belief,” Gov. Jim Justice said.

Justice pointed to pandemic fatigue — what many other officials say is contributing to Covid-19 spread — as a major reason why the virus is running rampant in the state.

“For the most part, most of us are concerned,” he added. “Most of us are doing the right stuff. But most of us aren’t really concerned to the level that we really truly should be.”

CDC: People who have Covid-19 or who were exposed can go vote

For those who are hoping to cast their ballot Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN people recovering from Covid-19 or quarantining from being exposed to the virus can go vote — safely.
Several battleground states seeing surge of new Covid-19 cases

“In-person voting can be carried out safely following CDC’s recommendations for polling location and voters,” a CDC spokesperson wrote in a Monday email.

Voters who are sick or in

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health

Why this Covid-19 surge is worse than the others

The West Texas city of El Paso, which is seeing facilities hard-pressed to handle the fast-rising number of coronavirus cases, is preparing to open its civic center for additional beds and add a fourth mobile morgue.



a person in a blue blanket: HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: A medical staff member grabs a hand of a patient to reposition the bed in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) on October 31, 2020 in Houston, Texas. According to reports, Texas has reached over 916,000 cases, including over 18,000 deaths. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)


© Go Nakamura/Getty Images
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 31: A medical staff member grabs a hand of a patient to reposition the bed in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) on October 31, 2020 in Houston, Texas. According to reports, Texas has reached over 916,000 cases, including over 18,000 deaths. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

University Medical Center of El Paso’s spokesman Ryan Mielke told CNN their hospital has 222 patients with Covid-19.

“We set a record yesterday and beat it today,” Mielke said. “It is just a new peak every day.”

About 978 patients with the virus are hospitalized in El Paso — a city of 680,000 residents — and 273 of those are in intensive care, according to the city’s coronavirus dashboard.

The city is about to use its civic center for Covid-19 patients and will have 50 beds, Mielke said.

The hospital has already expanded its Covid-19 capacity by partnering with El Paso Children’s Hospital, which has dedicated a floor to non-Covid-19 overflow patients, and it has a mobile isolation tent outside the hospital accepting patients.

A fourth mobile morgue is on its way to the hard-hit city, which has reported 605 deaths.

Asked about the surging cases and the link to the need for a fourth mobile morgue, Mielke said, “Simple math will tell you a certain percentage of those will have negative outcomes.”

‘We are breaking records all over the place’

No one wants another shutdown. But Americans who don’t wear masks and ignore social distancing are fueling that possibility, doctors say.

“We are breaking records all over the place here. The rate of acceleration of this virus is just increasing,” emergency medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen said.

“We’re already seeing our hospitals at breaking point in some parts of the country. And that means it doesn’t just affect patients with coronavirus. It also means that elective surgeries are being put off for things like hip replacements, for cancer surgery or heart surgery in some cases,” she said.

“When we get to breaking point here, we might have no other choice but to implement these measures that no one wants, like shutdowns. And that’s why we all have to take action right now with targeted measures, like wearing masks, like restricting indoor gatherings — things we can do now to prevent that really horrible outcome because cases are raging out of control across the US.”

Nationwide, the pandemic has gone from bad to worse.

The US just set a record for the highest seven-day average of daily new cases: 81,336 as of Sunday. That’s the first time the number has ever topped 80,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

And once again, increases in new cases are far exceeding new

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