Butler Health System activated Phase 1 of its surge plan Wednesday in response to recent spikes of COVID-19 cases.
According to a BHS news release Wednesday, both Clarion Hospital and Butler Memorial Hospital have reached their maximum capacity for their intensive care units.
Butler Memorial is converting its post-anesthesia care unit to a critical care unit, which will add 15 ICU beds.
BHS also is suspending nonemergency and elective surgeries and procedures that require inpatient stays. Outpatient procedures that don't require hospitalizations will continue.
BHS and other hospitals throughout the region have continued to see growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in their communities as well as dwindling bed numbers due to high hospitalization rates.
BHS on Wednesday reported 44 patients hospitalized at Butler Memorial, with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Seven of those patients are being treated in the intensive care unit.
BHS reported one patient died Tuesday due to the virus. Clarion Hospital also reported one death Monday and another Tuesday.
Clarion Hospital has also seen a rise in inpatient numbers with 27 hospitalized patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Clarion also has seven of its COVID patients in intensive care.
“Staff and patient safety is BHS's number one concern. The community must do its part to prevent spread and to help keep all health care workers healthy and available to care for those in need,” said a BHS news release Wednesday.