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Maine health officials sending help to spread thin hospitals

324 people in Maine hospitals with COVID-19 Thursday isn’t a record high, but it isn’t far off.
324 people in Maine hospitals with COVID-19 Thursday isn’t a record high, but it isn’t far off.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 2:42 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - 324 people in Maine hospitals with COVID-19 Thursday isn’t a record high, but it isn’t far off.

That has state officials working to help health care facilities that are spread thin.

Daily case rates, along with hospitalizations, people in ICUs, and those on ventilators remain troubling when you consider how the state had handled the spread of the virus in comparison to much of the nation.

Following holiday gatherings for Thanksgiving, state health officials expect those numbers will continue to climb.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says the planning phase is over.

They have been taking action for some time.

“We are working with some hospitals on staffing nursing facility beds to decompress those hospitals moving patients who otherwise are occupying a bed but don’t need to be in a hospital to a nursing facility to free up some room,” Lambrew explained. “We’re working with other facilities on what are called swing beds, beds that are in hospitals but could be used as nursing facility beds for a similar purpose.”

Lambrew adds they are also bringing public health nurses with volunteers and other types of support to different outpatient settings to administer therapeutic drugs in an effort to keep people out of hospitals.

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