Carson Tahoe Health calling in more staff for COVID-19 surge |

Carson Tahoe Health calling in more staff for COVID-19 surge

Carson Tahoe Health is bringing in staff to give a break to existing healthcare workers and handle an ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Carson Tahoe is steadily functioning at near capacity daily. The activation of our surge plan allows us to safely care for increasing volumes of patients,” said Diane Rush, director, marketing & communications and public information officer. “With the holidays here, increasing hospitalized patients, and the steady strain on our frontline workers, Carson Tahoe has brought on additional staffing resources to allow a respite for our employees who are working tirelessly to take care of our community.”

CTH has 188 acute care beds, excluding 62 behavioral-health licensed beds. Over the past few weeks, the hospital’s average daily inpatient census has been running at 182 and over the last 7 days, it emergency room has fluctuated between 85 and 134 patients per day.

Carson City’s daily cases jumped starting in early November and peaked earlier this month at 152 cases. That’s when Carson City Health and Human Services began reporting positive test results as the results came in rather than after contacting the individuals and investigating each case due to a growing backlog and to provide a more accurate snapshot of the jump in infections. On Dec. 7, the number of average daily cases was 67.

CCHHS reported roughly 1,000 cases at once for the entire Quad County area, compiled over more than a week, just before Thanksgiving and rushed to contact people who had tested positive before the holiday.

“With the support of various Carson City and CCHHS staff members, we were able to reach all of the positive results we received prior to Thanksgiving,” said Jessica Rapp, CCHHS public information officer.

As of Dec. 7, Carson City has 1,302 active cases, 1,663 recovered cases and 28 deaths, for a cumulative total of 2,993 cases.

Roughly a third of those are in 18 facilities in the city, including 535 in Warm Springs Correctional Center, according to the state of Nevada Health and Human Services web site. As of Dec. 8, 89 cases have been reported in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, according to the web site, and another 285 cases have been reported at the Stewart Conservation Camp adjacent to that prison, but those cases have not yet been sent to CCHHS or included in their statistics.

“There is a delay from when the Nevada Department of Corrections reports the cases as to when we receive the results, investigate them, and then report them. At this time we have not received the results,” said Rapp.

Carson City has asked the state to remove those numbers from its statistics because the bulk of the cases are inmates, but that hasn’t happened and is still under discussion, said Rapp.

But, last week county data excluding the prison population were calculated by the state statistician and Carson City still failed on two of the three criteria the state uses to track infection risk. The only county currently not failing the state’s test for risk is Storey County.

Rapp said CCHHS has found no specific events connected to the rise in cases in the capital.

“The biggest cause of multiple cases is people attending private gatherings,” she said.