Pandemic puts strain on local hospitals as they reach full capacity

"We are having very high case numbers both in the hospital and in the community and we continue to rise exponentially."

FARGO, N.D. –┬áScenes like medical professionals working to save lives in the middle of a pandemic are happening every day in our community

“We are not doing well here in North Dakota. We are having very high case numbers both in the hospital and in the community and we continue to rise exponentially,” Sanford Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control Dr. Avis Nagpal said.

Dr. Nagpal says, the rising numbers have already maxed out hospital capacity throughout most of the state.

“We are more than 100 percent capacity right now. The only reason we have been able to manage it is because we have been planning for so long and we have added quite a few number of beds,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Maximum capacity is just one of the issues the hospital is dealing with.

“We are very close to a point where we may exceed our capacity to take care of patients, so that is a real concern right now but the problem we are facing right now is staffing,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Even with Governor Doug Burgum’s plan to help with staffing by allowing asymptomatic COVID positive healthcare workers to work in COVID units , it’s not the best outcome.

“That can be a contingency plan, but that cannot be a strategy to take care of the pandemic because even though we care for our healthcare workers we don’t want them working when they are sick,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Dr. Nagpal says this pandemic is far from over.

“In Fargo we are seeing a second wave. We don’t have any meaningful mitigation measures right now so we are seeing significant transmission in the community,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Dr. Nagpal says you can help by following guidelines and taking precaution.

“Please take this seriously this is not something you can ignore this is everybody’s responsibility,” Dr. Nagpal said.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News