Three Rivers Health CEO Dave Shannon issued a message Thursday detailing the hospital and COVID-19.
Shannon said nearly every hospital in the region is at or has exceeded patient capacity. The majority of the patients have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
He said the situation has the potential to result in longer-than-usual waits for emergency care, prolonged stays in the emergency department waiting for a hospital bed, the postponement of certain surgeries, visitor restrictions and mask mandates and amendments to visitation policies.
In addition, Shannon said Three Rivers Health sometimes needs to transfer its most critical patients to a larger hospital but those hospitals are now full or nearing capacity, but some are not accepting patients. Additionally, Three Rivers Health is challenged to discharge patients to skilled nursing homes because of a quarantine period for COVID positive patients and staffing shortages impacting the entire healthcare industry.
Shannon urges anyone who has not yet received a COVID vaccination to consider doing so. When vaccinated patients contract COVID, they typically are not as sick and do not require hospitalization, or they have a much shorter stay, he said.