LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas area hospital issued a disaster declaration over the weekend due to continued COVID-19 hospitalizations.

St. Rose Dominican San Martin campus CEO Kim Shaw issued a memo Jan. 9 stating that the hospital would enter a Level 2 disaster declaration due to COVID-19. It wasn't immediately clear how many levels the hospital has for disaster declarations.

St. Rose Dominican San Martin

St. Rose Dominican San Martin campus in Las Vegas. (Dignity Health San Martin/Facebook)

Shaw said as of Jan. 9, the hospital was seeing general capacity at 121%, and ICU capacity at 137%. As a result, the hospital was instituting new measures, including a two-week suspension of all surgical blocks except for urgent instances and converting the medical-surgical unit for COVID-19 care.

The hospital enters an emergency declaration when the number of patients exceeds current resources and alternate care sites need to be made available.

"We recognize that the impact has been significant, and we do not make these changes without significant deliberation," the memo reads. "While I acknowledge this has been frustrating for many, we thank you for all your support."

Dignity Health spokesperson Gordon Absher released a statement on the memo:

Last weekend we experienced a surge of ICU patients which required us to call an Incident Command and quickly open alternative care areas. Once adjustments were made, things began to normalize. The purpose of the Incident Command structure is to organize actions to mitigate whatever issue is as hand. It is part of a normal hospital operations emergency response plan. Incident Command is established frequently to manage many different types of issues, from a planned power outage to computer down time or, in this case, surge capacity.

In this critical time, we must work together preserve space in our hospitals. The best way to assist hospitals and health care providers is to continue to follow public health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please remember this simple prescription: Don’t Share Your Air. Wear a mask, social distance, and get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.

Absher said the capacity issues were not unique to the San Martin campus but did not give specific capacity data for other Dignity Health campuses.

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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