Published On: Sun, Jul 26th, 2020

Local Hospital’s Worries and Response to COVID-19 Surges

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status of hospitals remains a point of worry for many. The availability of Intensive Care Unit beds and other necessary materials continue to dwindle.

“Some of our hospitals are at full or nearly full capacity,” explains Michael Maucker, marketing manager of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “We have surge plans in place that allow us to increase our bed capacity; and with 11 hospitals in our system, we have the ability to move patients and staff across our organization to help manage our volume. This continues to be challenging- but we know how to do this,”

Photo Courtesy of WPBF.

The hospitalization rate across Palm Beach County is 8% with over 2,000 people in the hospital due to COVID-19. Maucker states the hospital is equipped with enough Personal Protective Equipment to keep both patients and caregivers safe.

Yet, to combat the nursing shortage, many formerly retired nurses and out of state caregivers are coming to Florida to combat this next wave.

Of those hospitalized Maucker notes “We are seeing less acute patients. These are patients who are healthier, with less comorbidities, who may not require ICU care, but often do require hospitalization.”

“We constantly encourage the community to do their part to mitigate the spread,” Maucker notes. “Wear your mask. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands. We all have the power to help stop this by doing those things.”

Photo Courtesy of Boca Raton Regional

The mandatory mask order in Palm Beach County went into effect last month. Since its enaction, the mask order does not seem to have slowed the spread due to social gatherings continuing to take place in private areas. There is a continued spike of hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases each day.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, runny nose and/or fever, health experts recommend you get tested and self-quarantine immediately.

“Testing has become a major area of concern,” Maucker comments. “With an increased and sustained need for COVID-19 testing across our area, we are experiencing delays in receiving results from our outside laboratories.”

In addition to getting tested for being a current carrier of COVID-19 Maucker encourages all previous COVID-19 patients to take an antibody test.

“There’s a great need for convalescent plasma, which is used to treat some of our coronavirus patients,” Maucker said. “Anyone with a positive antibody test or PCR coronavirus test can qualify to be a donor. If a member of the community had the coronavirus and recovered, please consider contacting OneBlood, which is our bloodbank, to donate plasma for patients who are currently fighting the virus.”

There is a OneBlood office located on Glades Rd in Boca Raton if you are interested in an antibody test.

About the Author

- I am majoring in Multimedia Studies with a Concentration in Journalism as a Junior at Florida Atlantic University. I love to write about current events in our community.

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