PUEBLO — Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo is now the first hospital in the state of Colorado to request assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We had a floor that we had to close because of staffing levels, not just because of the vaccine mandate, but also because of staff shortages… As most industries face,” said Racheal Morris of Parkview Medical Center.
By reopening the floor, another 18 beds will become available for patients.
Jeremy Bray claims his mother, age 62, was transported by ambulance to Parkview’s emergency room about a month ago due to an infection in her leg.
“They didn’t have any rooms in the emergency room, so they let her sit in the hallway for about an hour,” Bray said.
Bray says it was clear that the emergency room staff were overwhelmed.
Parkview said he is grateful to the 15 National Disaster Medical System employees who have been deployed, who are “willing to make this commitment, leave their families behind and come and help… But the conditions are bad.”
Between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, according to Parkview, the number of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 increased from about 75 to more than 90.
“We’re experiencing this because we’re 20% less vaccinated than the state of Colorado and so it’s no surprise to us that our increase in cases continues here in Pueblo,” Morris said.
Saint Mary Corwin is also facing a similar situation, issuing a statement to KOAA News 5:
“While all of our Colorado and western Kansas hospitals remain very busy, we are able to serve patients at St. Mary-Corwin Hospital who need our care. As the pandemic approaches, approximately 80 percent of our COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. We’ve had plans for peaks since the start of the pandemic and we’ve used them whenever necessary; many of our hospitals are currently implementing them. Some of our hospitals are deferring non-emergency and non-emergency procedures to maintain capacity. This decision is made in conjunction with our physician leaders and is based on the needs of a particular facility.”
St. Mary Corwin’s Communication Field Advisor
Parkview asks that if anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19, they seek a test at one of Pueblo’s community testing sites and not come to the emergency room.