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Local hospitals seeing increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Local hospitals are reporting an increase in COVID-19 patients as the level of hospitalization for Sedgwick County has reached critical status.

According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard under hospitalizations, there are 195 ICU beds reported as in use and there are 90 COVID-19 patients.

Sedgwick County Dashboard

Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz spoke during the county commission meeting on Wednesday to address the increase in cases. He said local health officer, Dr. Garold Minns informed him that Via Christi was at capacity and Wesley was at almost 90% capacity.

“That day has come today apparently for Via Christi, so they’re wanting to talk with us about some emergency funding perhaps, they’re looking at options now for overflow patient and staffing concerns,” said Stolz.

Ascension Via Christi Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Sam Antonios said as of noon Wednesday, the hospital had 56 patients receiving treatment for the coronavirus. Despite the high numbers, the hospital stated there are ICU beds available for patients presenting other conditions.

“Last week, we expanded our number of ICU beds dedicated to COVID-19 care,” said Dr. Antonios. “We also will be adding 25 traveling nurses to help provide that care here and our hospitals in Pittsburg and Manhattan, some have already begun work.”

“We are committed to providing safe, quality care to all who come to us and to adjusting as we may need to in order to respond to the community’s needs. While we have contingency plans in place if the numbers of patients with COVID-19 needing hospitalization continues to grow, we would much prefer that the community join us in turning the numbers around by wearing a mask any time they are within six feet of someone not a part of their immediate household.”

Ascension Via Christi chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Sam Antonios

Wesley Medical Center Director of Marketing, Dave Stewart said the hospital is treating 40 patients for COVID-19, which is only 10% of their overall patient census.

“It is important to recognize that our current patient volume reflects both our COVID19 and non-COVID patient populations,” reported Stewart. “All COVID19 patients are cohorted into two dedicated units, which are isolated from other patient care areas to keep patients, visitors, physicians, and colleagues safe.”

The hospital said capacity can fluctuate during the respiratory season based on admissions and discharges that occur on any given day.

“The 40 patients currently being treated represent a significant uptick in hospitalizations from COVID19, and we remain concerned that this increase reflects the public moving away from the recommended precautions needed to control the spread of COVID19 in our community,” reported Stewart.

Providing exceptional patient care to our community while maintaining a safe work environment for our colleagues are both paramount at Wesley Medical Center. We encourage everyone to wear masks in public, practice hand hygiene and social distance whenever possible so that we can begin reducing the infection rate across Sedgwick County and ensure that our healthcare resources are not strained more than necessary.  We remain prepared and committed to providing exceptional patient care to our community.

Wesley Medical Center Director of Marketing, Dave Stewart

Sedgwick County has 175 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths with a 13.3% positivity rate.


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