Administrators: Hospital beds nowhere near full amid virus surge
By The Star Staff
Caleb Colón, president of the Health Services Administrators Association (CASS by its Spanish acronym), called on Monday for “a halt to people who are misinforming [the public] and creating panic over the increase in hospitalizations” due to the latest surge in coronavirus infections.
“Stop the panic, our hospitals are not going to collapse. To give you an idea, Puerto Rico has 6,869 [occupied] adult beds in its hospitals, of which today 664 are patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and the vast majority are patients with pre-existing diseases, which represents approximately 10 percent occupancy by this lethal virus. Meanwhile, the average stays that have been observed are two to three days,” Colón said in a written statement. “To this add that at the moment Puerto Rico has just over 200 isolation rooms available to attend to any emergency related to the coronavirus, plus the beds of outpatient or primary centers that have an Emergency Room, among others.”
“Now, we cannot lower our guard, and as our CASS Clinical Committee estimated last week, the cases of infections broke records and the projection is two more weeks with greater numbers of infected people,” he added. “But at the moment we do not have a crisis; our facilities have the personnel and resources to attend to [increased caseloads].”
The hospital administrator maintained that the Puerto Rico National Guard has one or two 150-bed field hospitals that at some point were installed in Mayagüez.
It was also reported that on Constitución Street, on the south side of the Capitol, tests for COVID-19 were to be carried out Monday on Capitol employees.