Local hospitals adapt to COVID surges, take new action to ensure staffing meets demand

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DENVER (KDVR) — As COVID-19 cases rise in Colorado, local hospitals are seeing spikes of patients, prompting new plans to adapt.

The decision makers over at HealthONE hospitals tell FOX31 they feel lucky now more than ever to have seven locations in the Denver market.

“We have seen a surge of patients over the last few weeks,” Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety for Health One Lindy Garvin said. 

Garvin says teams meet and speak daily to discuss spacing, staffing and equipment needs as cases rise. 

At this point, HealthONE has not had to transform other areas of their hospitals for space.

However, increased cases throughout local communities is heightening the risk of exposure for front-line workers too.

“We do have staff out right now so that’s probably the next big thing we have to watch as we move into the surge,” Garvin said. 

In an effort to ensure HealthONE hospitals keep adequate staffing to meet this heightened COVID demand, officials say they’ve instituted incentive pay for several shifts across their network.

Garvin also finds comfort in a first shipment of vaccines that should be coming for their front-line teams sometime in December.

“If we are careful in masking and social distancing in the next few months and we get this vaccine, I think we may have a chance to finally get through this crisis we experienced in 2020,” Garvin said. 

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