BILLINGS- An administrator at St. Vincent Healthcare said there are more patients in hospital beds at St. Vincent right now than at any other time he can remember since becoming an administrator 10 years ago. He said the increase is primarily due to COVID-19.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Bush at St. Vincent Healthcare said there are currently 222 patients in beds at the hospital. Ten of those patients are in the ICU, with nine patients on ventilators. He said almost 60 patients in the hospital right now have COVID-19.

"The number one issue is the number of health care providers to provide care," Bush said. "And, it's really the hospitalizations. And, we know hospitalizations lag behind the actual cases by two to eight weeks time. So, we're expecting even more hospitalizations coming up in the next several weeks. And, as we have those increased cases, the real limiting factor is the number of people taking care of them." 

Dr. Bush said everyone is working overtime or extra shifts.

He said, "In forty years of providing health care to patients, I've never been so fatigued as I have been in the last six months and that includes all of my time as an intern and as a resident."

Dr. Bush encouraged everyone to wear masks, social distance, wash their hands and be smart about where they go and what they do.

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