A Montana ICU is full of COVID-19 patients, most of them unvaccinated, Kaiser Health News reported.
The ER manager told KHN it's gotten so bad that they're "running out of hallways" to treat patients.
Billings Clinic said it might soon implement "crisis standards of care" as cases in Montana surge.
A Montana hospital has so many unvaccinated COVID-19 patients to treat that it's "running out of hallways," Kaiser Health News news reported on Wednesday.
Brad Von Bergen, the hospital's emergency department manager at Billings Clinic, told KHN their ICU was operating at 160% capacity last Friday. Hospital staff had to pivot - housing COVID-19 patients in the lobby of the emergency department, creating plastic walls to accommodate more beds, and treating patients in the hallways of the hospital.
"The problem is," Von Bergen told KHN, "we are running out of hallways."
Billings Clinic said it might soon implement "crisis standards of care," according to KHN, that would force staff to save provisions for patients they can most likely save.
Montana is a new national hotspot for COVID-19 cases, having recorded a 47% increase in cases from September 10 to September 14, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services' State Profile Report for Montana.
Yellowstone County, where the hospital is located, is seeing the worst of the surge. The Montana Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,461 current active cases there, as much as the next two counties combined.
Only 52% of people who are eligible for the vaccine in Montana are fully vaccinated.
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