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Asante reports a record 125 confirmed COVID-19 cases

Outbreak at ARRMC affects 61 employees in multiple departments; hospitals seeing major capacity challenges.

Updated Aug. 10

COVID cases continue to skyrocket at Asante with the number of hospitalized COVID patients reaching a combined 125 confirmed cases on Tuesday.

The new figures come as ARRMC reports a significant outbreak in multiple hospital departments. Sixty-one employees over 10 departments have contracted the highly contagious delta variant.

Holly Nickerson, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety, reminds all employees not to come to work if they’re feeling sick, continue to physically distance and wear eye protection in patient care areas.

“Lunch and break time is also a high risk time for sharing germs,” she said. “Remember not to share foods and to always practice hand hygiene.”

As the virus continues to spread, Asante hospitals are beyond capacity limits, prompting surgery cancellations beyond elective procedures. Intensive care units at all three hospitals are full.

Discharges are lagging as planners seek placement for recovering patients. Local skilled nursing facilities are full. Asante also has had to limit transfers from outlying hospitals due to the bed shortage.

Staffing remains a critical challenge as patients are boarded elsewhere in the hospital. Asante is recruiting more travelers and is asking for employed Asante nurses now in administrative jobs to return to bedside care during this crisis.

As concern grows in the broader community, call volumes are increasing at the main switchboard. Asante is working to reinstate the COVID-19 hotline, which was shut down in June when COVID appeared to be on the decline.

Asante employees can receive walk-in vaccinations at Asante Urgent Care facilities in Medford and Grants Pass and APP primary care clinics in Medford, White City, Grants Pass and Ashland (Catalina Drive). Patients can schedule a vaccination appointment at these clinics through MyChart.

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