Doctor says New Mexico hospitals are operating above 100% capacity | KOB 4

Doctor says New Mexico hospitals are operating above 100% capacity

Steve Soliz
Updated: December 14, 2020 06:30 PM
Created: December 14, 2020 05:57 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The New Mexico Department of Health reported that 860 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital Monday.

"All of our hospitals are well above 100%. So, in order to get to a point where hospitals are not completely stressed, many hospitals work at about 85% occupancy," said Dr. Irene Agostini of UNM Hospital. "In New Mexico, often we are not able to do that because of the number of beds we have, but at this point, we are quite a ways away with hospitals, certainly the University of New Mexico and all of our colleagues being well over 100%. That's why I think this red, yellow and green will be very helpful. When we are all back in the green, our hospitals will, I believe, be able to take a breather from what's going on now."

Medical professionals say New Mexico has to be in the green for the state's health care system to get a breather. 

"We need to get the numbers down further and that's going to translate into improvement in the hospitals but not immediately," said Dr. Vesta Sandoval of Lovelace Health System. "So this is why we've got to be consistent, and what we do and not relax. We have to look down the road and say, the things that we do now, the decisions we do now, will impact our hospitals two weeks, four weeks down the road."

Doctors are reminding people to consider how they celebrate the holidays. They are asking everyone to remember that the virus still poses a risk, and can be transmitted easily at family gatherings.

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