Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Nevada County, a lot of information is being shared on Facebook and other platforms. People are struggling to decipher what is fact from what is speculation or opinion.
It is important to note that reports coming from Nevada County that are being shared by other sources reflect what is occurring in both the eastern and western county. An area of local concern, for example, is how many positive cases there are at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH). The number of hospitalized patients being published by many sources includes not only patients at SNMH, but also Tahoe Forest Hospital (TFH) in Truckee.
SNMH continues to have very low inpatient impact due to COVID-19. As of Tuesday, there was one positive case. Between March 22 and July 6, there has been a total of 1,545 tests completed at SNMH with 14 positive cases hospitalized during that time.
People often ask if SNMH’s ICU (intensive care unit) is well prepared for a potential surge. Currently, there are no ICU cases. ICU’s provide intensive care medicines and life support to patients that have suffered serious injury or illness.
While early on there was tremendous concern nationally about the number of ventilators at hospitals, more have become available and SNMH is well prepared with a strong ventilator to ICU bed ratio. A ventilator pumps air into a patient’s airway when he or she is unable to breathe adequately on their own.
Although cases have nearly doubled in California and there is a definite surge in Nevada County, unlike other parts of the state where hospitalization has soared by 88%, locally our influx is low. Between the two hospitals (SNMH and TFH), there are 137 beds for COVID-19 and other patient needs. As of July 7, there were six suspected and positive COVID-19 hospitalized patients, one of which was in the western county. Between the two hospitals, 60% of ICU beds are vacant and 100% of ventilators are available.
With everything still in a state of flux, how do people decide what to believe? Determine what your trusted sources of information are and try not to get caught up all the rhetoric and chatter from those whose information may not be reliable.
The Hospital’s CEO/President Brian Evans provides weekly updates on what SNMH is experiencing. This is made available on the SNMH and SNMH Foundation Facebook pages. You can also get access to these by adding yourself to the Hospital Foundation’s e-blast list. Simply email infoSNMHF@dignityhealth.org and ask to be added for updates.
If you are interested in data, the Nevada County website at http://www.mynevadacounty.com updates numbers daily. The Center of Disease Control and prevention has a dedicated site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For those that are interested in a more global perspective, please go to https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
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