The move started today and was made as the state continues to see record-breaking numbers of COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran says they’ve seen a significant increase in transfers from hospitals in the eastern region of the state in the past few days.
“The key issue is that the transfers that we’re getting are not just COVID patients, they’re also really complex, sick patients,” Gunasekaran says, “and so that’s a bit of what we’ve also been working through as well.”
Gunasekaran says the hospital has not yet rescheduled any procedures. He says the 800-bed hospital has the capacity to take the transfers now, but he says he’s concerned about what will happen if COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase.
“If the next four weeks are like the last four weeks in terms of the level of increase we see day over day in terms of the infection rate and hospitalizations, I think we really do risk overwhelming the health care system,” he says.
In the past week, COVID-19 hospitalizations have surged past 600 statewide, setting new records on nearly a daily basis.
By Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio