As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Hospital and ICU space is dwindling in the US and in Minnesota. Hospital bed capacity is strained due to caring for COVID-19 patients, as well as non-COVID-19 patients. Johnson Memorial Health Services (JMHS) currently receives daily reports from the Minnesota Department of Health issuing how many ICU beds are available in the entire state. On Wednesday, November 4 there were 16 total beds available with six being pediatric beds. As a healthcare facility this is frightening and unprecedented. We share this information with you not to scare you, but to be upfront with you on what is happening in Minnesota and our surrounding States.
To prepare, we are currently renovating a portion of our hospital rooms to accommodate COVID-19 patients in-house, because transferring patients out may not be an option due to the decreased acute/ICU bed availability. We have also secured the necessary equipment and medications to treat COVID-19 patients, and continue to prepare our staff for an onset of both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
We are asking for your help in doing your part to keep our community healthy. We know you have COVID fatigue, we have it too. However, and this is so important, we all need to be extra diligent in following the preventative measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Please wear your mask indoors, make sure it covers both your mouth and your nose. Continue to practice good hand hygiene and disinfect high traffic areas daily. Keep a physical distance of at least 6 feet and avoid large crowds. Stay home if you are sick. Remember COVID is an airborne virus that spreads easily and quickly.
If you have COVID-19 or have been asked to quarantine, please follow the guidelines provided to you. If you have been in contact with a positive person and have a negative test, you still may be asked to quarantine. People have tested positive up to 14 days after being exposed. Again, please stay home if you are quarantined.
Another preventative measure you can take is to get your flu vaccination. The flu vaccine doesn’t mean you won’t get the influenza, but it will make the symptoms more manageable so you can recover at home. This year more than ever, we are encouraging all individuals to get vaccinated. We have the regular, high dose and flu mist available.
We need everyone to do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you, from JMHS staff, residents and tenants.