Leaders: We’re Not Ready for Spike in COVID-19 Hospitalizations
ST. PAUL -- As Minnesota leaders continue to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 cases that will require hospitalizations they're worried that we won't have enough medical equipment on hand.
Governor Tim Walz says our hospitals are okay for now, but if we see a big spike in cases items like personal protective equipment, respirators and ventilators will be in short supply.
The State Emergency Operations Center made 78 deliveries of PPE around the state on Sunday. They are also focused on finding additional hospital beds. An additional 5,000 hospital beds were located over the weekend.
Department of Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis is in charge of overseeing the critical care supply workstream. She says Minnesota is in the same situation as most other states.
My number one goal is that Minnesota has the ability to resource the necessary supplies and equipment to respond to COVID-19. This is not a small task. Minnesota is in competition with 49 states and many other countries as we work to respond to this global pandemic.
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly says they're still trying to collect more personal protective equipment.
And PPE includes masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizers, and similar items. As we gather up as much of that stuff as we can.
As for testing people for the coronavirus, Walz says testing wise and per capita wise we're near the top for state's doing that.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says they've caught up on the backlog in lab testing. She says congregate living facilities continue to be a top concern with 31 facilities in Minnesota reporting at least one case of COVID-19.