There has been an alarming spike in COVID-19 hospital admissions in the past three weeks in Missoula and throughout Western Montana. The result: our resources have become strained and healthcare staff and providers are suffering work shortages.
As a community, we all need to tap the resolve we exhibited this spring. We need renewed effort and immediate action to help flatten the curve and slow the rate of infection. Together we can avoid overloading our resources and pushing our facilities beyond their capacity to treat people.
Slowing the infection rate will help reduce stress on our healthcare systems by decreasing hospital patient stays and assuring hospitals have the staff and space to serve those most in need.
It’s not just our healthcare systems. Our healthcare workers—your friends, neighbors and family members—are on the front lines of this crisis and need your help now too. While reported bed availability may appear that our hospitals have the capacity to treat this virus, the reality is that hospital staff is spread thin.
Due to community spread of the virus many healthcare workers are forced to quarantine, which creates unpredictable staffing shortages. Those in healthcare are committed to providing exceptional and compassionate care, but the work during this surge in COVID is fatiguing with hard and long hours of patient care. They can’t do this work alone — our local healthcare community needs your help.
Montanans have always stood at-the-ready to help, so we are calling on you now. Please continue to properly wear masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands, keep your social circles small, stay home if you can, and make sure you get a flu shot this year.
Managing COVID-19 is not a sprint—it’s a marathon—as we all move inside for the winter, we urge you to remain vigilant in doing your part in preventing the spread of the virus. Montanans flattened the curve once. We know we can do it again.
Thank you for your help. Be safe and well.
Community Medical Center, Board of Trustees and Providence Montana, Community Mission Board