Southeast Kansas hospital halts some procedures as virus cases climb

WICHITA (AP) — A hospital in southeast Kansas is putting the brakes on some procedures as coronavirus cases continue to climb steadily statewide and the positivity rate tops 17%.

Randy Cason, President of Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, said this week in a statement that the plan to pause elective and non-emergent procedures will allows leaders to reallocate staff to help care for an influx of patients.

“Our first priority is always the safety of our patients and associates,” said Cason. “We are fortunate to have close relationships with our sister hospitals in Wichita and Manhattan who may be called upon to help provide additional clinical support and resources.

Statewide, 3,370 patients are hospitalized with the coronavirus, with 35% of ICU beds still available, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday.

The agency also said the state had 1,700 new confirmed or probable cases since Wednesday, a 2.5% increase that brought the total for the pandemic to 70,855. Over the past week, the state has averaged 721 new cases a day. The state also said the number of deaths increased by 27 to 859.

According to data from The COVID Tracking Project, the 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Kansas has risen over the past two weeks from 15.51% on Oct. 1 to 17.1% on Thursday. Only six states are reporting a higher percentage.


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