FEMA deployed at Parkview to help with COVID-19 spike

FEMA is deploying 15 people to help the hospital handle overwhelming demand
Parkview says the staffing shortage was impacting them even before the vaccine mandate took effect
Posted at 7:42 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 07:53:49-05

PUEBLO — Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo is now the first hospital in the state of Colorado to request help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"We had a floor that we had to shutdown due to staffing, not just vaccine mandate related, but lack of staff... As most industries are facing," said Racheal Morris with Parkview Medical Center.

Reopening the floor will make another 18 beds available to patients.

Jeremy Bray claims his mother, 62 years-old, was transported by ambulance to Parkview's emergency room roughly one month ago due to an infection in her leg.

"They had no rooms in the ER, so they had her sitting out in the hallway for about an hour," said Bray.

Bray says it was evident that the staff in the ER were overwhelmed.

Parkview says they are grateful for the 15 National Disaster Medical System employees being deployed, who are "willing to make this commitment, leave their families, and come help... But the circumstances are bad".

Between November 5 and November 9, Parkview says the number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 rose from roughly 75 to over 90.

"We are experiencing this because we are 20% less vaccinated than the state of Colorado and so it's not a surprise to us that our increase of cases is continuing here in Pueblo," said Morris.

Saint Mary Corwin is also dealing with a similar situation, issuing a statement to KOAA News 5:

“Although all of our hospitals in Colorado and western Kansas remain very busy, we are able to serve patients at St. Mary-Corwin Hospital who are in need of our care. As the pandemic looms on, around 80 percent of our COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. We have had surge plans in place since the beginning of the pandemic, and we have utilized them as needed throughout; many of our hospitals are currently implementing them. Some of our hospitals are postponing non-urgent and non-emergent procedures to preserve capacity. This decision is made in conjunction with our physician leaders and is based on needs at a particular facility.”

St. Mary Corwin's Communications Field Advisor

Parkview is asking that if anyone is showing symptoms of COVID-19, they seek a test from one of Pueblo's community testing sites and do not come to the Emergency Room.