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Doctors confident they have capacity to get through second COVID-19 wave

A doctor at St. Vincent's Medical Center say they are confident they have the capacity now to get through a second wave of coronavirus, but they warn that no one is out of the woods yet.

News 12 Staff

Dec 3, 2020, 11:06 PM

Updated 1,293 days ago

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Doctors say they are confident they have the capacity now to get through a second wave of coronavirus, but they warn that no one is out of the woods yet.
Health care officials say earlier this spring, local hospitals like St. Vincent's Medical Center were almost at a breaking point.
Dr. Dan Gottschall, vice president of medical affairs for Hartford Healthcare, says back in April, St. Vincent's maxed out at 170 COVID-19 patients - about 70% of the hospital's total capacity.
Bridgeport Hospital officials say they had more than 300 COVID-19 patients at the pandemic's peak before settling into a comfortable summer slump.
But they say COVID-19 is on the rise again.
Doctors say lockdown measures at the beginning of this pandemic were crucial for giving them a chance to catch their breath and improve capacity.
"It allowed us to kind of reflect on what worked well, and to plan, to study and adjust," says Gottschall.
Doctors say at the height of the crisis, nonessential procedures had to be put on hold.
"We had to utilize some of the spaces that we use for surgeries and procedures and make them kinda COVID units," says Dr. Zane Saul, chief of infectious diseases at Bridgeport Hospital.
Saul says it now almost feels like business as usual.
"We're doing elective surgeries, and we're hoping that we can stay this way," says Saul.
He warns that until COVID-19 vaccines make their way to the general public, hospitals will keep ticking up toward capacity.
"December, January and probably also February, we will see the numbers continue to rise," says Saul.
Hospital officials say they're hoping the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available for front-line health care workers later this month.


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