CRH reconfiguring space as COVID-19 inpatient numbers reach 49, highest in 11 months

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus Regional Hospital is scrambling to reconfigure space and increase capacity in an effort to keep up with soaring coronavirus cases, rising emergency room visits and a deluge of patients with more complex conditions as officials brace for what they fear will be another tough winter.

The efforts, described by hospital officials as “a quest to find any and every bed available,” comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations at CRH jumped to 49 on Wednesday the highest in nearly 11 months and an increase of 14 in just two days.

On Friday morning, one of the floors that CRH has designated for COVID-19 patients reached full capacity and staff were working to open up additional space as they anticipated more coronavirus patients needing admission as the day went on, hospital officials said.

Though overall hospitalizations have also risen, COVID-19 hospitalizations are chief among CRH’s concerns because they are largely vaccinepreventable and those patients often need to be monitored more closely than other patients and require more staff and equipment to alleviate their symptoms, hospital officials said.

Currently, COVID-19 is the single largest cause of hospitalization at CRH.

CRH has not needed to divert patients or suspend elective procedures. As of Friday morning, the hospital’s staffed occupancy rate stood at a little over 80%.

“It has been alarming,” CRH spokeswoman Kelsey DeClue said of the rapid rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. “…We’ve had some pretty big jumps, especially over the last couple of days.”

For the complete story, see Saturday’s Republic.