UVM Health Network to add more COVID beds

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:13 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:41 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - With the uptick in COVID hospitalizations this week, the UVM Health Network will be adding ICU and COVID-19 beds.

The Health Network says more space and staff within their hospitals will be devoted to patients in need of intensive care. The UVM Medical Center will be getting five ICU beds and 10 COVID beds and Central Vermont Medical Center will be getting three beds.

Officials say the decision was made after projecting a surge of cases caused by Thanksgiving gatherings in addition to the increase in hospitalizations the past few days. Right now, UVMMC has 25 COVID patients, seven of which are in the ICU. The five new ICU beds will come from operating room space, which will result in a delay of some elective procedures.

UVMMC President Dr. Stephen Leffler says that despite omicron’s arrival in the U.S., it did not influence this decision. “We need more spaces to care for those patients and care for everyone else who is very sick right now. Omicron - I’m not sure, I don’t think we know that yet. There’s a lot of study right now, but I will tell you we need next week beds for COVID in Vermont right now, and that’s all delta,” he said.

The new capacity will be ready by Monday. They will be staffed by a combination of traveling nurses and current staff. CVMC’s new beds are ready but they are still working on staffing through traveling nurses.

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