Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) announced today that it has seen a steady increase in recent hospitalizations due to COVID-19. If the trend continues, hospital resources will be severely impacted.
Local health officials believe the rise in COVID-19 cases in northwest Arizona is likely due to the Delta variant. This variant is more contagious than the original strain of COVID-19. According to the Mohave County Department of Public Health, over 20% of all Delta variant COVID-19 cases identified so far in Arizona were in Mohave County.
Of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized at KRMC in the past 30 days, 93% were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated (had not yet received a second dose of vaccine).
The number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed at KRMC has risen 72% in the past two weeks. Of those, 24 patients are currently hospitalized, as compared with an average of five COVID patients in the hospital per day during the month of June.
Eight COVID patients are currently in KRMC’s intensive care unit (ICU), with three on ventilators. These are in addition to patients requiring ICU care for other conditions. As a result, KRMC’s regular ICU is currently at capacity and ancillary space is being added.
Due to rising COVID-19 case numbers, KRMC is now implementing its surge plan to increase staffing and resources. This is to care for hospitalized COVID-19 patients– who typically require a stay of over a week or more. Plans also include expanding ICU and patient isolation spaces to accommodate more patients.
Additionally, KRMC will apply stricter visiting guidelines. Beginning at 8:00 a.m. next Monday, July 12th, the hospital will deploy Level II Visitor Restrictions, which reduce visiting hours to 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Non-infectious patients may have one visitor (age 18 or older) per day. Infectious patients in isolation areas are not allowed visitors without approval of the supervising physician.
Although KRMC is busy, individuals should not put off seeking medical care. In describing the situation, KRMC CEO Will McConnell emphasized, “We want to assure our community that all KRMC medical services remain operational and that we are able to care for patients.”
“KRMC employs strict protocols to protect people’s safety. But, during the last surge, many individuals delayed care for fear of contracting COVID-19 from the hospital. Those delays worsened chronic conditions for some patients. People shouldn’t fear getting the help they need,” said McConnell.
McConnell also praised KRMC staff for their diligence. “As we communicate this surge in COVID-19 cases, I want to take this opportunity to again thank our tremendous clinical team of physicians, nurses, technicians, and support staff for weathering the last surge and for their willingness to step up again.”
Seeking Medical Care for COVID-19 Symptoms
If you experience severe COVID-19 symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or bluish lips or face, CALL 911 or immediately seek emergency medical care.
If you experience minor COVID symptoms, such as cough, fever, and headache, please stay home and use KRMC Care Anywhere, an online telemedicine service.
During the pandemic, there is no cost to use Care Anywhere, and health insurance is not required. With a Care Anywhere visit, you will answer questions about your symptoms online. A KRMC healthcare provider will evaluate your answers and provide a treatment plan within 24 hours, which may include an order for a COVID-19 diagnostic test.
If you do not have access to the Internet, call your primary care provider or visit KRMC Urgent Care.
All community members are urged to consider getting the COVID vaccine if they haven’t done so already. Of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized at KRMC in the past 30 days, 93% were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated (had not yet received a second dose of vaccine).
Current vaccines are shown to be very safe and effective against the Delta variant and other COVID-19 strains. However, some rare breakthrough cases have occurred when a vaccinated person became infected. Even so, studies show the vaccine substantially lowers the risk of severe disease and hospitalization by approximately 95%.
KRMC provides free COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals age 12 and over at KRMC COVID Services, located at 3116 Stockton Hill Road in Kingman. Anyone 18 and over can receive the vaccine on a walk-in basis between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm, Monday- Saturday. Children under 18 require an appointment. To schedule, call (928) 263-3945.
KRMC continues to post COVID-19 information and updates on its website at: azkrmc.com/covid-19 which includes current visitor guidelines and further information on how to obtain local care for COVID 19 symptoms.