Mercy hospitals seeing a number of COVID patients in ICU

Posted at 9:24 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 12:29:31-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Mercy hospitals are still seeing a high number of COVID patients in their ICU units, according to Bruce Peters of Dignity Health.

Between Mercy and Mercy Southwest there are 19 patients in ICU, with 18 on ventilators, as of Wednesday morning, said Peters.

Memorial as of Wednesday morning has 11 COVID patients in ICU with eight on ventilators, according to Ken Keller of Dignity Health.

With California's mandate for health care workers to be vaccinated by Sept. 30th, more than 80% of Dignity Health hospital workers have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to Peters and Keller. About 10% of those workers who haven't gotten a vaccine have applied for an exemption.

Those who haven't been vaccinated against COVID or have their exemption denied would be placed on administrative leave through Jan. 1, according to Dignity Health officials. The employees would have until Jan. 1 to get vaccinated or to apply for a different exemption, according to Dignity Health officials.

"We're concerned about the loss of any of our team members," said Keller.

Keller said that Dignity Health has different plans in place in case of a staffing shortage. These include contracting with travel nurses, adding additional shifts for employees who wish to do so, recruiting new staff, and examining how care is provided.