State Watch

Nevada hospital urges residents to take COVID-19 seriously: 'We are pleading with you'

A hospital in Nevada is urging residents to take the coronavirus seriously as it nears capacity due to an influx of COVID-19 patients.

"As a hospital staff, we are pleading with you to practice the precautions we know are effective in stopping COVID-19," Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital said in a COVID-19 update on Friday.

The hospital urged citizens to wear masks, avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing and get vaccinated against COVID-19.  

"Most importantly, please get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination truly is the best way to protect yourself and others from being hospitalized with this disease," the hospital said.

The hospital reported 48 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23 and 14 patients in intensive care. Eleven people have died.

Nearly 94 percent of the hospitalized patients were unvaccinated as well as nearly 86 percent of patients in intensive care. 

Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital said that its medical-surgical unit and intensive care unit have both been "near capacity for several days." The hospital has postponed elective surgeries and redeployed surgical staff for COVID-19 patients.

The hospital also said it was moving patients to "alternate clinical areas of the hospital" to increase the number of beds available.  

The hospital is currently not turning away any patients, but wait times may be longer than normal.

"At Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, we are here to serve you whenever you need us. Please help us slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our healthcare system from being overrun," the hospital said.

In Elko County, where the hospital is located, a record 655 active coronavirus infections were reported on Friday, according to the Elko Daily Free Press. The county has also reported 18 deaths in September, surpassing December, which was the county's deadliest month in the pandemic.

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