Missoula hospitals short on beds as COVID cases climb

(KPAX) Missoula County continues to see an increase in cases, which is creating worry about space at hospitals.

“The hospitals are starting to get a little bit of a limited capacity, particularly when we’re looking at the ICU,” said Missoula City County Health Department Incident Commander, Cindy Farr.

With a spike in cases in Missoula County, the two local hospitals are making plans in case they run out of space.

Farr said Missoula hospitals serve most of Western Montana, and sometimes surrounding states.”I don’t think that they’ve been concerned yet,” said Farr.

Community members worry the hospitals will get so overrun with COVID cases, there won’t be room for other patients.

“We’re a very big health care hub. They need to be able to treat all patients that come in,” Farr said.

As of Thursday, Providence St Patrick Hospital has 11 COVID-19 patients. Six of those patients are in ICU, leaving one ICU bed available.

Community Medical Center has 2 COVID-19 patients, but none are in the ICU. CMC has 2 ICU beds available. Eleven of their 13 are in use for people with non-COVID related symptoms.

Between both hospitals, there are 49 ventilators available.

Farr reminds people once again to continue best practices to slow the spread of the virus.

Farr also said one thing people can do to help slow the spread- answer your phone. She said the health department is having to call people multiple times for contract tracing, slowing down the process and using valuable resources.