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Northern Montana Care Center sees drop in hospitalizations

No care center residents hospitalized as of Friday

 

Last updated 11/9/2020 at 1:13pm



Even as cases surge in Hill County, Northern Montana Health Cares’s long-term care facility’s COVID-19 wing was empty as of Friday.

Northern Montana Health Care Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Julianne LaSmith said it is possible that a COVID-19 patient may occupy the wing soon, but for now none are sick enough to be there.

LaSmith said the wing can now provide some relief to the medial and surgical floors of NMH.

LaSmith did not give specifics on how many COVID-19 cases not associated with Northern Montana Care Center are in the hospital by print deadline.

Hill County Health Department reported Sunday evening that 22 county residents are hospitalized and Blaine County Health Department reported Sunday evening that 12 residents of that county are hospitalized. The health department reports do not say where people are hospitalized.

LaSmith said Friday that the hospital itself has 49 beds total with around 20 filled, including the Intensive Care Unit and Labor and Delivery, but the COVID-19 wing is available if needed.

Unfortunately the rise in COVID-19 exposures in the county has created staffing challenges at NMH, she said, but the crew at the hospital are doing the best they can.

She said, some of the nursing staff from the care center, permanent and travelers, are pulling shifts at the hospital, and because they have cut back on elective surgeries some operating room nurses are now working on our medical and surgical floors.

LaSmith said they’ve also had travelers that have worked for them in the past return to help out.

“We appreciate all that our community has done for us,” she said. “The support has been welcomed. We’re just asking to the community to do all that they can to help us keep these numbers down. We’ve all worked so hard to keep COVID-19 out of Havre and we can’t give up yet.”

LaSmith encouraged everyone in the community to wear masks, wash hands and high-touch surfaces frequently, practice social distancing, avoid large groups and stay home as much as possible.

 
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