Farmington hospital to get 70 additional caregivers to help with 88 COVID-19 patients

Hospital officials enact crisis standards of care on Nov. 3

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • There were 88 COVID-19 patients being treated at the hospital on Nov. 3, a number that has been steadily climbing for weeks but exploded between Nov. 3 and Oct. 27.
  • The hospital called on the community to help reduce the “enormous strain on our healthcare system” by continuing to wear a mask, social distance and above all, get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • San Juan County has 3,657 positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, according to New Mexico Department of Health data.

FARMINGTON — San Juan Regional Medical Center will receive 70 additional caregivers through federal and state assistance as it treats 88 COVID-19 patients while expecting that number to grow.

The hospital on Nov. 3 enacted crisis standards of care to help manage its resources as more than half of all patients at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19.

San Juan County reported more positive COVID-19 cases in October than the previous four months combined, creating the second highest monthly case count since the coronavirus pandemic started.

There were 88 COVID-19 patients being treated at the hospital on Nov. 3, a number that has been steadily climbing for weeks but exploded between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

The high COVID-19 patient count led to a public health alert on Nov. 3 being pushed to cell phones, stating the hospital is being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

A public health alert pushed to cell phones on Nov. 3 urges San Juan County residents to get a COVID-19 vaccination as the hospital fills up with COVID-19 patients.

San Juan Regional had 66 COVID-19 patients on Oct. 27, 65 on Oct. 20, 64 on Oct. 13, 43 on Oct. 6 and 37 patients on Sept. 29, according to hospital data.

More:San Juan County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 54% of people fully vaccinated

Enacting this protocol will allow the New Mexico Department of Health to send 34 caregivers to the hospital to provide “much needed assistance and staffing,” according to the news release.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System has deployed a Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which will provide a 36-person team to the hospital.

The 70 additional caregivers will help provide much needed care for the community as the hospital tries to support inpatient and outpatient care for both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.

The hospital called on the community to help reduce the “enormous strain on our healthcare system” by continuing to wear a mask, social distance and above all, get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s so important for us as a community to depoliticize all the rhetoric in our country, our state and our community around this pandemic,” San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois said in a statement. “The best way to prevent contracting the disease, prevent hospitalization, prevent an ICU admission, and ultimately prevent mortality related to COVID-19 is to seek a vaccination.”

San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois

San Juan Regional specifically called out Zip Codes in Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington, which have increasing COVID-19 spread due to "significantly low vaccine rates," which are creating a large COVID-19 patient count at the hospital.

The 87410 zip code in Aztec had 40.8 percent vaccination rate for those 12-years-old and older who are fully vaccinated, according to the San Juan County public health office. 

Residents in the 87413 Zip Code in Bloomfield had 50.1 percent vaccination rate along with 54.4 percent rate in 87401 Zip Code and 62.7 percent in the 87402 Zip Code in Farmington.

More:San Juan County reported 924 new COVID-19 cases last week; New Mexico cases surge 23%

October case count larger than previous four months combined

San Juan County just experienced one of the busiest months for COVID-19 cases since the global pandemic started.

San Juan County has 3,657 positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, according to New Mexico Department of Health data.

The county reported 3,015 COVID-19 cases from June 1 through Sept. 30.

The only month that had a higher case count was December, when San Juan County clocked in 4,000 cases, according to state health department data.

November 2020 had 2,185 cases and January had 2,290 cases, per the state health department data.

September has 1,394 cases along with 1,106 cases in August and 333 cases for July, according to The Daily Times archives.

San Juan County’s level of community transmission for Oct. 19 through Nov. 1 was the second highest total daily new case count per 100,000 people in the state with 104.5 new cases per day or 1,845 cases in the two-week period.

The county had a two-week test positivity rate of 14.95 percent, according to the state health department.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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