One in four patients in our intensive care units is a covid-19 patient,” said Dr. Raul Koranne, President and CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association.
The COVID-19 situation unfolding across Minnesota has become dire, as the state’s nearly 150 hospitals work to function as one healthcare system, managing the influx of coronavirus patients.
“They’re sending patients that need to be transferred between sights,” Dr. Koranne said. “They’re collaborating on how to respond to this pandemic and the level of cooperation and collaboration is unprecedented.”
Over the last two weeks, new COVID-19 cases in the state have spiked over 125%, putting Minnesotans at a positivity rate of 14.25% as of Wednesday.
“I don’t really think of numbers, I just think of my patients,” said Katie O’Neil, a Minneapolis nurse.
Because of this, doctors and nurses are being retrained and redeployed in order to cater to the needs of the more severe cases. Cases such as 36-year-old Kelly Meeker – a gymnastics teacher who’s been hospitalized in Minneapolis for the last month-and-a-half, and was just on a ventilator a week ago.
“I knew something was wrong,” Meeker said. “I knew I had COVID from the very first day that I had symptoms. I just kept getting sicker and sicker.”
However, it’s not just hospital capacity that’s the issue.
“There are physicians and nurses that are not working in our hospitals because they’ve been exposed to this virus,” said Dr. Koranne.
Which is why health experts and patients like Meeker are urging everyone to do their part in an effort to save more lives.
“We need Minnesotans to step up and help us,” said Dr. Koranne. “Our healthcare heroes need you beyond these dashboards and these numbers are real Minnesotans who are receiving care in our hospitals.”
“Wear your mask, because its I almost died from it. Its more serious than people think,” said Meeker.