A Surge In COVID-19 Cases In Dickinson County So Far Is Having Little Impact On In-Patient Volume At Lakes Regional Healthcare

Mon 6-15-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- The dramatic increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Dickinson county is still having a minimal impact on in-patient volume at Lakes Regional Healthcare. That word today (Mon.) from LRH CEO Jason Harrington...Harrington Update01 

"The question that we get asked often is, and I think people kind of look to this as the benchmark for severity is, how many people do you have in the hospital that are COVID positive? Well our first patient that we treated with COVID way back when there our first COVID positive was the last official inpatient that we had. No having said that, I know that we have three patients that we transferred to Sioux Falls because of the critical nature of their conditions and they were all COVID positive and certainly their reason for being transferred to Sioux Falls had to do either with the COVID infection directly or the exacerbation of other things caused by COVID. On the inpatient side we're not being directly impacted right now, although we expect that to change as it has in other counties where they've seen significant growth."

Harrington says those transfers just occurred fairly recently. He says it's wrong to think the lack of hospitalizations so far can be associated with a weaker strain of the virus locally...Harrington Update02 

"And to think that, you know, some how Dickinson county is having milder cases of COVID just quite frankly isn't accurate. We have a higher percentage of young people who have gotten infected which again have a lesser chance of being symptomatic or having a significant negative outcome. But that same group of people, you know, might be exposed to their parents or grandparents or other people that have underlying illnesses and so I think everybody just has to continue to be vigilant and be informed. And then people have to make decisions in terms of what's based on them based on the information that they have, so."

Harrington adds that as of now, Lakes Regional Healthcare is still performing elective surgeries but he says they are closely monitoring supplies of personal protective equipment and other factors...Harrington Update03 

"I will say, Steve, if at some point if we're unable to meet any of those requirements or the spread of COVID is significant enough, we won't have any hesitation in closing those procedures back down if that's in the best interest of the health of the community, so."

Harrington again highly urges everyone to wear a mask when in public, practice social distancing, and to cough or sneeze into your arm.

He adds the COVID-19 hotline at Lakes Regional Healthcare has been seeing a higher volume of calls recently with most of those inquiring about testing. The number for the hotline is 336-6696.