Eastern Virginia may see more health care rationing due to pandemic

Virginia

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The good news is most COVID-19 patients recover. The bad news is the patients are sicker, younger, and spend 20 days in the hospital instead of 10.

“The patients that we are seeing now are younger and they are much sicker and because they are much younger, they are staying longer,” said Dr. Michael J. Dacey, president and chief operating officer of Riverside Health System.

Riverside has canceled elective surgeries and that could be just the beginning of rationing health care.

Idaho with a low vaccination rate is operating under “crisis standards of care” for example, ICU beds are reserved for those who are most likely to survive COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus.

FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, Ann Enderle R.N. checks on a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Idaho public health leaders have activated “crisis standards of care” for the state’s northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 7. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

“We are not to that point yet, but I tell you if the numbers go up that is a possibility of the next month or two. There is no doubt about that, we are worried about it [this is] another reason for folks to get vaccinated,” he said.

Riverside is also concerned about a doctor and nurse shortage and a looming medical supply shortage due to shipping backups in Asia.

In this Monday, March 23, 2020 file photo, shipping containers are offloaded from a vessel in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. They can’t expect much sympathy, but lockdowns and travel restrictions mean small-time drug dealers can’t do business as usual during the coronavirus pandemic. Street sellers in Brussels and Paris have changed their work hours and delivery methods due to the end of public nightlife and a drop in demand. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

“What does worry us is what is going on in Asia in the ports in China. That’s very worrisome. We have started to see some spot shortages of certain things, nothing that is of tremendous concern now, but a month from now that might be a different story,” said Dacey.

Many of the state’s health care providers this week signed a statement imploring the unvaccinated to get the free, and effective coronavirus vaccine. Riverside in a statement also called on the unvaccinated to help turn the tide as medical providers are trying to avert a potential care crisis.

Hospitals are dusting off plans for remote facilities as some say the president’s new vaccine mandates are too little too late.

A man with COVID-19, wearing a protective cover, is transferred from the emergency room to a COVID-19 unit at Starr County Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 27, 2020, in Rio Grande City, Texas. For nearly a month, the Rio Grande Valley pleaded for a field hospital, but not until Monday was one ready. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Republican Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Westmoreland) on Friday blasted President Joe Biden’s six-point plan in a statement issued to 10 On Your Side.

Congressman Robert Wittman Official Photo

“I am vaccinated, and continue to encourage others to get vaccinated as well. However, I believe the decision to take the COVID-19 vaccine, like every other medical decision, should be made between a patient and their doctor. The role of the federal government in getting Americans vaccinated should not be to dictate these decisions to individuals and private businesses, but to continue educating the public on the vaccine’s safety and benefits.  Resorting to authoritarian tactics only sows further public distrust of the vaccine, exacerbating one of the leading obstacles to vaccination. 

President Biden and Vice President Harris both publicly cast doubt on the vaccine’s safety last year as they were running for office. President Biden said there would be no mandates in December of last year. President Biden promised the nation he had a plan to end the pandemic. By now, it’s clear that none of these statements were true.” said Wittman.

Riverside’s president expressed concern about president Biden’s plan.

“It is true that it’s late; there’s no question about it. I am sure there will be some legal challenges. I think that encouraging people to get vaccinated is very, very important,” said Dacey.

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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