IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in the area treating patients with COVID-19, but that doesn't mean the hospital is unsafe.
The hospital reports no staff workers have contracted the disease from any of the eight COVID-19 positive patients they've treated.
"We've been separating those patients and doing that very efficiently and I think that's reflected in the fact that we don't have health care worker infections, and that the hospital is still a safe place," said intensive care physician, Dr. Kenneth Krell.
Krell tells us the data shows a 42% decrease in patient volume, yet a 20% increase in patient admissions from an ER visit. That is a vital statistic.
"With more advanced disease, putting off what they would normally be getting care for earlier, and we think that's detrimental to their health," Krell said.
These sicker-than-normal patients have common injury and illnesses that may not of required hospitalization if medical care had been sought sooner.
"We want to see people get their problems taken care of efficiently and at an early stage, so that they don't develop complications. Precisely so they don't end up in my intensive care unit, because they're presenting at a later stage in their disease process," Krell said.
To keep their employees and the public safe, EIRMC adheres to CDC protocols which includes isolating possible COVID-19 patients to ensure a safe atmosphere for others.
The Idaho Falls Fire Department has also experienced a similar trend. They say calls for heart-related issues are down 44% and calls for stroke care are down 53%.