Local hospitals report manageable caseload during extreme cold weather

Updated: Feb. 15, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Local hospitals say so far, this recent cold weather blast hasn’t put a burden on their operations. In fact, hospitals say they have more space to handle victims related to cold weather events and other scenarios due to the decline of Covid-19 hospitalizations.

Dr. Craig Rhyne, the Chief Medical Officer of Covenant Health, says COVID-19 and the extreme cold temperatures have made sure they are extra-strict on having extra supplies- including blood supply- and sufficient hospital staff too.

“We are starting to have more Covid units that we are emptying out. We’re cleaning those up from A to Z, making sure that they are completely sterilized, and ready to have non-covid patients in them.”

On Monday,  Dr. Rhyne said 15 Covid beds in a Covid unit were cleared so they can be reassigned to other patients.

Dr. Rhyne added there are now 34 beds allocated for COVID-19 at Covenant Health, down from 100. These are ready to treat any kind of case including those who are involved in bad car wrecks and slip and falls, which Dr. Rhyne says they are seeing due to the bad weather.

“So that’s going to basically get the hospital back on much more of a normal footing, in terms of our regular med surge and ICU patient bed capacity.”

At UMC, public information officer Aaron Davis says although they’ve also always had a cold weather plan, their extra-organization skills due to COVID-19 has helped keep the regional hospital on track during this cold weather.

“It did prepare us both kind of with the endurance, the resiliency to push through any circumstance,” said Davis.

Davis added they are prepared in case of a power outage, pointing out their impressive generator system.

“If power goes down, then patients receiving care and staff providing the care aren’t left without power to do the very thing that we’re here to do, which is care for those in need and to take care of the community.”

Both representatives are asking folks to be safe during the cold weather and be Covid-safe, to keep hospital operations in a manageable place.

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