Patient volumes at Garfield County hospitals hold steady |

Patient volumes at Garfield County hospitals hold steady

Valley View Hospital
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |
Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 4/28/2020
  • Specimens collected thru Valley View: 590
  • Positive results: 39
  • Pending results: 18
  • Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 15
  • Admitted COVID-19 patients discharged: 13
Grand River COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 4/28/2020
  • Specimens collected thru Grand River Health: 447
  • Positive results: 17
  • Pending results: 21
  • Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 2
  • Patients transferred: 2
  • Patients discharged: 0

New testing capabilities at Valley View Hospital could result in an increased number of COVID-19 cases in Garfield County, but for now the number of new positive tests and resulting hospitalizations remains stable.

Starting last week, Valley View was able to begin using both a nasopharyngeal swab and saliva-based PCR testing to determine if a patient has COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has been declared a global pandemic.

“These options enable Valley View to test hospitalized, high-risk patients and other patients with a physician referral,” Valley View stated in its bi-weekly statistical report on Tuesday.

Both types of tests are sent to an outside lab, but the saliva-based test does not require use of swabs, which have been in short supply. Testing is still limited to patients with the greatest risk for severe disease, complications and death as a result of COVID-19.

“This new saliva-based PCR test is a significant development that will benefit the care of our patients,” Valley View CEO Dr. Brian Murphy said. “For those in our community who have concerning symptoms, we encourage them to reach out to their primary care provider for assessment and to determine if this new test option is appropriate.”

Turnaround time for the tests is approximately 24 to 48 hours.

Through Monday, Garfield County had a total of 89 cases of COVID-19, either confirmed or based on personal contact with persons who have tested positive, according to the latest report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Two deaths in the county have been attributed to the disease since the statewide outbreak in early March.

Statewide, there have been 14,316 cases, resulting in 2,571 hospitalizations and 736 deaths. A total of 67,094 people had been tested in Colorado through Monday.

Meanwhile, Grand River Hospital in Rifle also reports that patient volumes remain stable, and the hospital is able to care for positive COVID-19 patients, should they require that level of care.

This week, per the state of Colorado’s loosening of public health restrictions, Grand River began performing elective surgeries and offering walk-in mammography weekdays from noon-4 p.m. The vaccination clinic is also open Thursdays and Fridays by appointment only.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.