Kansas hospitals adjust for spike in COVID-19 cases, patients

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 11:15 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Kansas, health professionals are making adjustments to keep up. To help manage its COVID-19 patients, Ascension Via Christi in Wichita hired more than 25 traveling nurses from out of state.

Cases and hospitalizations reach an all-time high in Kansas as temperatures in the Midwest drop.

“In most parts of our state, it started all of a sudden getting really cold. More and more of us are thinking about indoors instead of outdoors. We are closer together, potentially, it’s inside spaces. Social distancing is going to be more of a challenge as temperatures drop," said Kansas Hospital Association Senior Vice President Cindy Samuelson.

Doctors say now is not the time to get comfortable. Recently, with COVID-19 cases on the rise across the state, nearly 12 percent of all tests for the virus have come back positive. The addition of traveling nurses and additional ICU rooms are part of local hospitals’ efforts to keep up with demand.

Recent data shows Sedgwick County hospitals with more COVID-19 patients than ever before. Out of 90 patients hospitalized locally for the virus, nearly half are in the ICU, doctors say. And for the first time, doctors say, a majority of hospitalizations are coming from social outings and family gatherings.

While nearly eight months of social distancing has some fed up with guidelines, doctors warn now is not the time to relax CDC guidelines.

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