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YRMC discusses handling of potential COVID-19 peak

YRMC ER

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues rise, Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) says they are prepared to care for patients as a community hospital.

Sunday afternoon, YRMC explained how they would handle a potential surge, as the Yuma County Health District predicts the peak could hit by the first week of June.

YRMC gave an update on the current coronavirus cases inside the hospital. Dr. Bharat Magu is the Chief Medical Officer at YRMC.

“We are at this point around 45 - 46 patients in the hospital depending on how many patients got discharged since morning. We are around 20 patients in ICU,” he said.

Kevin Tunnell, from the Yuma County Health District, gave more information on the peak on News 11, Friday evening.

“We don’t expect a peak until maybe next week or the following week after that. The first week of June, so we’re still climbing up," said Tunnell.

YRMC experienced a higher number of COVID-19 patients over the past few days. At one point they only had a few beds left.

“We doubled our in-patient numbers in less than 4 days," said Dr. Magu.

“If we have a sudden rise in numbers again in the next few days that may limit the capacity not just for us but for any system would have a problem with dealing with such a surge,” he added.

The hospital has back-up plans in place if they come close to running out of ICU beds.

“On the non-ICU beds we have another unit, potentially can be made a second COVID unit. It can accommodate 40 patients if need be," Dr. Magu said.

YRMC is also partnering with the Arizona Department of Health and other hospitals, to transfer coronavirus patients.

“A collaboration with hospitals all around the state - especially in Tucson, a couple in Maricopa. They will facilitate the COVID patients transfer to another COVID unit in one of those hospitals,” Dr. Magu said.

“We have new plans in place and policies in place to make sure we always keep reserve capacity,” he added.

Dr. Magu also says, they are in close contact with local and state health departments daily, even hourly.

Yuma County / Yuma County Coronavirus

Cody Lee

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