Vegas-Area Hospitals Add Beds Amid Rise In Coronavirus Cases

90% Of ICU Beds In The Valley Are Occupied

Associated Press
July 20, 2020 - 5:17 am
Doctors in hospital discussing coronavirus

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas-area hospitals are adding beds and staff to accommodate an increasing number of COVID-19 patients, officials said.

Hospital occupancy was not high enough to require activation a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan developed in April to use the Las Vegas Convention Center for up to 900 patients, Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Acute-care hospitals in Clark County added 441 staffed beds as of Thursday, according to data from the Nevada Hospital Association. Another 49 were added in other parts of the state.

Dan McBride, chief medical officer for the Valley Health System, said medical facilities in the region are not in danger of being overrun. Valley Health operates six hospitals. 

University Medical Center added 87 beds in under-utilized space, hospital chief executive Mason VanHouweling said.

The intensive care unit at the state’s only public hospital was 95% occupied as of Wednesday, with about one in three of those patients diagnosed with COVID-19. 

VanHouweling told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that overall occupancy at UMC was 76%, or slightly higher than during peak flu season periods in the fall and winter.

Almost nine in 10 intensive care unit beds in the Las Vegas region were occupied last week, according hospital association data.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.