FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Washington Regional has moved into phase 4 of its COVID-19 Surge Plan after a tidal wave of cases overwhelm the ICU and hospital beds are in high demand.
The rising COVID-19 cases have created the need for hospital nursing staff and available beds to be directed to the care of COVID inpatients. This week alone Northwest Arkansas saw an all-time high of 127 ICU patients in hospitals throughout the area.
Washington Regional has opened and staffed its third unit dedicated to COVID-19 patients. Additional hospital and clinic team members have been reassigned to assist in the areas with the most need in the hospital.
To obtain the staff required to move into phase 4, non-emergent or elective surgeries and procedures will be postponed leaving some clinic operations will be paused.
"It is crucial that the Northwest Arkansas community understand this current surge is the most serious situation we have encountered since the beginning of the pandemic," said the Washington Regional Chief Operating Officer and Administrator Birch G. Wright, MPA. "Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that we will be required to implement additional measures in the future as we have not yet reached the projected peak in hospitalizations."
Washington Regional is asking the community to do its part in helping stop the spread of the COVID-19 so that hospitals in the area can provide the community the care it needs.
Here is what Washington Regional is asking:
• If you are vaccinated, please encourage friends and family to get vaccinated and continue to be vigilant.
• If you are not vaccinated, please get vaccinated today. If you are hesitant or have questions about the vaccine, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 479-463-2055 to speak to a medical professional.
• Regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask when out in public. The prevalence of the virus in our community is high – hospitals are asking everyone to mask up and stay safe to help flatten the curve.
• Practice social distancing. Regularly wash your hands and avoid large gatherings.
• Stay home when you are sick.
For more information about Washington Regional or COVID-19 information, please visit their website.