Southern Illinois Healthcare recognizes uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations in SI

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois Healthcare has noticed an uptick in cases and hospitalizations in their hospitals.

SIH CEO Rex Budde understands how important it is to keep people safe and healthy. With temperatures getting cooler and more test showing positive, Budde said the hospitals are more crowded now than they were.

“We are actually seeing more patients in the hospital now than we did at the beginning of the year.”

Budde said since the middle of August, cases have absolutely spiked, but it may not be from the reason you are thinking.

“And I think the other thing everyone was worried about was nursing homes and senior facilities,” he said. "That’s not the case, it’s community spread.”

SIH alone has tested 50,000 people, but they have noticed their positivity rate increase recently.

“And we’ve been running 5/6 percent positive but we’ve gone over 7 percent now.”

Since March, 35 individuals have died due to COVID-19.

Budde said they have capacity to deal with patients if an uptick continues. Since March alone they have had 325 admissions. The concern is in the workforce.

“Staffing is a concern because some of our own staff gets sick from this stuff from community exposures.”

Budde said we need to work through this together.

“The virus is the enemy, not each other, and there’s been a little bit too much of this getting caught up in, 'well, it’s each other, it’s that party or this party, this person or that person. The virus is the enemy.”

Budde has this message with flu and COVID season happening.

“Get your flu shot," he said. "We don’t want to fill the hospital with patients of the flu either. Wear your mask, social distance, wash your hands. It works. Not only does it work for COVID, it works for flu.”

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