Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska has activated emergency crisis protocols that allow 20 health care facilities to ration care if needed. Bartlett Regional Hospital was included in the list of hospitals, however, Bartlett said they are nowhere near re-allocating care for patients.
Bartlett Regional Hospital said in a release that if they reach a level where they prioritize care, the designation allows the hospital to operate within the crisis standards of care framework.
“Don’t delay your care,” said Chief Nursing Officer Kim McDowell. “Rest assured we stand ready to care for you and serve the healthcare needs of our community.”
“Outpatient elective surgeries continue uninterrupted and surgeries that may require a postoperative stay in the hospital are assessed daily,” said Chief Operating Officer Vlad Toca.
Challenges with transferring patients from rural communities to critical access hospitals was a factor in the state decision. Transferring patients can add to already full hospitals. BRH said it's possible that a point may be reached where there is no room in traditional destinations for medevacs from Bartlett.
Juneau's case count continues to be high with five people currently hospitalized with the virus. Recovered patients are also being treated for lingering effects of COVID-19. “While they're no longer contagious, they're still requiring a large amount of resources and specialty care,” said McDowell.
“We want to thank our community members for adhering to virus mitigation measures that work: limiting social contacts, wearing a mask when you are around people outside your bubble, and getting vaccinated. If our community continues its strong support of these efforts, I am hopeful we won’t have to be in the position to implement prioritization of care,” said Interim CEO Kathy Callahan.