Lower COVID hospitalizations offering some relief for NM healthcare workers

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Mexico are at the lowest level the state has seen in months. Hospitals say it’s bringing some relief. “We are able to start demobilizing resources reconfigured to care for COVID patients and slowly return some of those areas back to what I would call normal operations,” said Dr. David Pitcher, an executive physician at the University of New Mexico Health Services system.

All the major hospitals say that it’s allowing them to start bringing people back for preventative care and non-emergency surgeries. However, New Mexico has fewer beds per capita than most states so they say the system is still under pressure. “All of our hospitals continue to be at very high patient counts so, because we’ve collaborated and committed to provide an extra amount of capacity through contingency beds, we’re all pretty close to fully utilizing usual license beds,” said Dr. Denise Gonzales of Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

Right now, hospitals are still restricting visitors because of COVID, which is frustrating to families. No one can say when some of those restrictions could ease. Tuesday, the state reported 369 hospitalizations. The last time the state saw that number was on November 1 before the state changed the way it reported COVID-19 hospitalizations. They used to rely on numbers from contact tracers and New Mexico Department of Health investigations but now get numbers directly from the hospitals.

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