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Sky Lakes Medical Center opens second COVID-19 isolation unit as hospitalizations rise

Sky Lakes announced on Tuesday that its isolation unit has reached capacity for the first time ever, prompting the hospital to open a second unit.

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 2:31 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2020 2:35 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Sky Lakes Medical Center announced on Tuesday that its coronavirus isolation unit has reached capacity for the first time ever, prompting the hospital to open a second unit as hospitalizations from the virus increase.

The medical provider said that there were seven COVID-19 patients in the dedicated third-floor unit as of early Tuesday morning, but three more patients were admitted by noon. There were only four patients the day prior.

“This morning, Sky Lakes had more COVID-19 patients than ever since the pandemic began,” said Sky Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Stewart. “And with the large number of new positive test results recently reported, we can expect more COVID-19 patients in the very near future. Sky Lakes will be ready.”

Sky Lakes says that a second isolation unit has been opened on the medical center's second floor to deal with the increase in COVID-19 patient volume, with "special accommodations" for medical staff to access the units without mingling with the public. The rest of the hospital remains open for other patients.

"Our ability to care for non-COVID patients relies entirely on having staff and providers available. If they are required to care for an influx of COVID-19 patients, then we have diminished capacity to take care of other patients," Stewart said. "Please do all you can to decrease COVID exposure in our community.”

Klamath County has seen surging cases over the past few weeks, and Sky Lakes in particular has experienced the impacts. The health provider's Primary Care Clinic closed down this week after a number of positive COVID-19 cases among staff members. A spokesman said that all 44 members of the clinic staff were tested, with six returning positive results. No patients are believed to have been exposed.

Public health officials in Klamath County reported 60 new cases on Tuesday, after recording a record 160 cases over the preceding week.

“Evidence suggests this surge ties back to at Halloween parties where people were likely not wearing face masks and certainly not observing distancing guidelines,” Stewart said. “With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s especially important to heed the experts’ advice about masks and gatherings.”

The director of Klamath County Public Health had a similar take, asking people to make safe choices for the coming holiday.

"We anticipate the statewide report will have outbreaks listed for Klamath County tomorrow," said KCPH director Jennifer Little. "However, in the nine months of our experience with COVID-19, many cases result from social and professional contacts. People tend to let their guards down among family, friends and colleagues. We have all be asked to make prudent choices this holiday weekend. Our personal actions effect our own health and that of others.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 140063

Reported Deaths: 1924
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29512473
Washington19476184
Marion16951255
Clackamas12251142
Lane8900113
Jackson726798
Umatilla705874
Deschutes530342
Yamhill335652
Linn325050
Malheur323355
Polk262241
Klamath258149
Josephine188436
Benton185514
Douglas181447
Jefferson174625
Union116117
Wasco112923
Columbia109018
Lincoln104517
Coos102916
Hood River99923
Morrow97311
Clatsop7225
Crook67615
Baker5875
Tillamook3742
Curry3275
Lake2635
Grant2171
Harney1916
Wallowa1003
Gilliam531
Sherman480
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3250649

Reported Deaths: 38817
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles109171215897
San Bernardino2693141746
Riverside2684903003
Orange2403142839
San Diego2314812465
Santa Clara997021314
Kern91119591
Fresno866731084
Sacramento850621194
Alameda72024929
Ventura67526546
San Joaquin60545844
Contra Costa55593492
Stanislaus49690808
Tulare43574542
Monterey38434261
San Mateo34738356
San Francisco30874296
Santa Barbara27321267
Solano27317121
Imperial25812514
Merced25743332
Sonoma25536254
Kings20223161
Placer18129192
San Luis Obispo17151161
Madera14130175
Santa Cruz13088136
Marin12067166
Yolo11361147
Shasta10212138
Butte9943136
El Dorado824566
Napa814552
Sutter812984
Lassen530916
San Benito525152
Yuba522730
Tehama456446
Tuolumne351241
Nevada341073
Mendocino332236
Amador311333
Lake274832
Humboldt267227
Glenn203422
Colusa19079
Calaveras172323
Siskiyou150413
Mono11574
Inyo105329
Del Norte8783
Plumas6185
Modoc3974
Mariposa3585
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine740
Unassigned00
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