Hospital: Increase in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients continues as county case count climbs
About 81 percent of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated
- Data provided by San Juan Regional Medical Center shows a jump from 47 COVID-19 patients on Oct. 11 to 64 patients on Oct. 13.
- Statewide, 76 percent of COVID-19 cases were from unvaccinated people with them accounting for 82 percent of all hospitalizations and 89 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.
- The City of Farmington joined the hospital in urging members of the community to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
FARMINGTON — San Juan Regional Medical Center officials asked the community to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as hospitalizations and new case numbers continue to rise and the hospital has documented a higher mortality rate among unvaccinated patients than among the vaccinated.
The plea comes as statistics show the first two weeks of October have had more COVID-19 cases in San Juan County than during the entire month of August, almost eclipsing the count for September. About four out of five patients admitted are unvaccinated.
The hospital sent out an Oct. 15 news release stating it has a high number of COVID-19 patients as resources are strained across the state.
Along with obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine, the hospital urges the community to continue wearing face masks in indoor public places along with staying six feet away from others while avoiding crowds and urging people to not go to work while sick.
The numbers spell it out
Data provided by San Juan Regional Medical Center shows a jump from 47 COVID-19 patients on Oct. 11 to 64 patients on Oct. 13. The most recent figure was 58 patients on Oct. 15.
There were 35 COVID-19 patients on Sept. 1 and 46 patients on Oct. 1.
The hospital also released data on its COVID-19 patient hospitalizations between Aug. 1 and Oct. 5.
There were 285 total hospitalizations with 231 patients, or 81 %, who were unvaccinated. Of the unvaccinated patients, 42 were admitted to the ICU, 20 were placed on a ventilator and 21 of them died.
Of the 54 vaccinated patients, nine were admitted to the ICU with five placed on a ventilator and three who died.
San Juan Regional Medical Center CEO Jeff Bourgeois previously told The Daily Times the influx of COVID-19 patients has made it difficult to accept patient transfers from hospitals outside the community.
State data backs up local numbers
The Farmington hospital data nearly lines up with New Mexico hospitalization data between Sept. 13 and Oct. 11.
Statewide, 76 percent of COVID-19 cases were from unvaccinated people with them accounting for 82 percent of all hospitalizations and 89 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.
The case count for San Juan County has greatly increased in recent weeks, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
There were 1,321 cases for Oct. 1 through Oct. 14, which is more than the entire month of August with 1,106 cases and almost the 1,394 case count for September.
Oct. 7 had 237 new cases and Oct. 8 had 164 cases for a total of 401 cases. Those two days had more cases than the 333 cases for July.
The City of Farmington joined the hospital in urging members of the community to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The municipality on Oct. 14 posted to its Facebook page, sharing a video to debunk COVID-19 vaccine myths.
The video was from San Juan Regional Medical Center, where Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Brad Greenberg explained the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Another staffer urged people to speak to their coworkers if necessary about the importance of not coming to work while ill.
“Even if you think your symptoms are mild, they may in fact be COVID-19. Please, stay home when you are sick and get tested," Infection Prevention and Employee Health Manager Penny Hill, said in a statement. "If you see a coworker who has signs or symptoms of illness, it’s ok to speak up and hold them accountable,”
The hospital also urges community to obtain a flu vaccine this year while holding two drive-thru flu shot clinics.
Those take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., or until supplies run out, on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30 in the north visitor parking lot, located at the corner of Schwartz Avenue and Maple Street in Farmington.
The hospital states those who are seeking a flu shot must wear a face mask.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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