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ECRMC sees increase in COVID-19 patients

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EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY), The El Centro Regional Medical center has seen an increase in coronavirus patients.

As of Monday morning they have registered more than 60 patients that are COVID positive.

As of last Wednesday the hospital had about 48 coronavirus patients.

“Sixty-two COVID patients sitting in our hospital we’re back up again, we are three patients away from the highest of the first wave, but by the end of this week, we’re gonna be much higher than that, we are probably looking at 80 patients covid positive," said Dr. Adolphe Edward, ECRMC CEO.

With a current spike in cases, Edward says the spike expected in the next weeks due to Thanksgiving gatherings followed by Christmas celebrations is concerning.

"From everything I've seen at the skatepark, to Glamis, to whatever is in between, people are not watching what they are doing and they are not really following the health order that is out there," said Edward.

Edward says the longer spikes continue to occur the more staff continues to get sick and fatigued.

It’s a battle they've been fighting for nine months now.

Fortunately, the hospital has learned a lot from the first wave by increasing bed capacity both inside and outside the hospital.

Nearly 50 patients can be treated at their temporary tent facility outside. It’s a room they made for non-COVID patients in order to make more room inside the hospital for coronavirus patients.

“We’ve done a lot to increase capacity, we’ve done a lot to treat, and that’s why some are going home to quarantine, not needing to be admitted to the hospital that’s good news, but what’s not good news is that the numbers are just skyrocketing and will continue to skyrocket, which means folks aren't listening, and I don't know what else to tell folks, this disease is ferocious," said Edward.

Edward says it’s really time to buckle down to decrease the spread of the virus.

The hospital has enough resources to handle their current patient count.

Hospital transfers out of the county have been kept to a minimum, but Edward says the coming days will be very telling for what lies ahead with the second wave.

The temporary tents are not meant to treat COVID-19 patients, but the hospital says they do have the ability to turn a tent into a COVID-19 unit if more beds are needed for coronavirus patients.

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Alexandra Rangel

Alexandra Rangel joined KSWT in March 2019 as a multimedia journalist.

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