Cedar Rapids Hospitals Better Prepared For COVID-19 Surge


Hospitals in Cedar Rapids say they are feeling much more prepared for a surge in COVID-19 cases than back in March when the coronavirus first took off.

As local positive COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise, Unity Point Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dustin Arnold says he isn’t worried about the hospital being overwhelmed.

“We’re status green on pharmacy, blood, personal protective equipment, every place we need to be, we are doing well,” Dr. Arnold tells KCRG-TV 9. He says now they have a better understanding of how the virus works and most importantly, how to treat it.

“We knew what to expect, we knew how to handle it, we had convalescent plasma, we had remdesivir at that time.”

Doctors say they now have plenty of PPE, which was not the case early on. They say they also have more than enough room to accommodate a rise in cases.

Dr. Tony Myers, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Mercy Medical Center, says both hospitals have even decreased intensive care unit space because they over-prepared by three times what they ended up needing.

“While we decreased capacity, we still have double of what we normally have, that would easily take care of a similar surge we saw in April,” Dr. Myers tells KCRG-TV 9.

While they are confident in handling cases, the doctors say the danger isn’t over. The majority of the recent rise in cases has been 18-25-year-old people, but Dr. Meyers says he expects to see a more widespread impact in a few weeks.

(Photo: KCRG-TV 9)