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SIH Requests Staffing Assistance from State to Handle COVID Surge

A chart of COVID admissions.
SIH has seen an influx of patients in the past few weeks.

Southern Illinois Healthcare officials say they are requesting help from the state to handle the ongoing COVID surge.

SIH nursing supervisor Jennifer Harre says the situation is all hands on deck, with nurses who have moved on from bedside care taking shifts in the hospital.

"We have reached out to the state for additional resource so that we have the capability to continue to surge, with either COVID patients or other patient," Harre said. "We talk mostly about intensive care services for our region."

She said the request covers many departments.

"So we have asked for nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapy, also staff that can potentially help with our environmental services, our dietary services, so a lot of our ancillary departments, laboratory and then some of our clinic services, such as the community COVID testing and then also our monoclonal antibody infusions," Harre saide.

The system has set a new record for COVID testing, processing over one thousand four hundred tests in two days. As of August 31st, the hospital system reports 70 patients hospitalized with COVID, 22 of them in the ICU. Patients as young as 28 are on ventilators. Most of the hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.