As cases climb, hospital braces for COVID surge

As COVID-19 gains ground in Kodiak, the hospital has been forced to make some changes.

Amy Corder, incident commander for the Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center COVID response, says that there are three patients with COVID currently in the hospital.

“So unfortunately, we are not able to give specifics about their condition as we have to comply with federal privacy laws around that. The only thing we are able to disclose is the number of patients with COVID as our primary diagnosis that we have within the hospital.”

None of the patients presently have any reason to be moved to Anchorage, but as rural communities throughout Alaska continue send their severe COVID-19 cases there, there may come a time in the near future where Anchorage hospitals may not have the space for them. To prepare for that possibility, the Kodiak hospital is making space to prepare for the worst.

“And so we have taken steps to set up an alternative care location within our own footprint of the hospital that would allow us to extend how many patients we would be able to see here an additional 20,” said Corder.

That’s 20 more beds in a dedicated COVID wing on top of the 25 beds already spread across every wing of the hospital. Three of those beds are already filled with COVID patients- and that doesn’t include patients treated for other health problems.

Corder says that there’s no way to know how many of those beds will be filled.

“We’ve converted part of our first floor to be prepared to accept COVID positive patients if that need were to arise, but it exceeded the capacity in our regular acute care,” Corder said.”

“And so we are canceling most outpatient services at this point so that we can free up those clinical staff to help support the efforts around the hospital-level, acute need patients that we have at this point.”

She says that we still have tools with which to fight the virus.

“There’s obvious community spread occurring at this point, we are strongly encouraged Getting people to follow the public health guidance, including masking, social distancing, avoiding those indoor gatherings and following frequent hand washing, really trying to do our part to keep our neighbors healthy as we move through this,” Corder said.

Those interested in seeing Kodiak’s COVID-19 statistics, including hospitalized case count, can see it at the EOC dashboard.

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