All ICU beds occupied at Backus Hospital in Norwich; Lawrence + Memorial seeing rise in COVID cases

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — As of Tuesday, Backus Hospital in Norwich has 34 COVID patients, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS data also shows that all 14 ICU beds there are occupied.

In part, Backus said in a statement: “As COVID-19 cases increase across the state, we remain focused on the numbers at Backus as volume fluctuates on a daily basis.  If necessary, we have the capability to expand our capacity, in order to provide the best care for our patients,” Donna Handley, East Region President.

At Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in nearby New London, there are some available ICU beds, but the hospital is seeing a rise in COVID cases. According to HHS, Lawrence + Memorial has 38 COVID cases, but the hospital says it is more than that.

“We’re over 50 plus admits and last I looked, maybe four of those were vaccinated. The rest were all unvaccinated,” said Kevin Torres, an emergency medicine physician at Lawrence + Memorial.

It appears as the number of COVID cases rise, so does the number of occupied ICU beds. Most COVID patients at Lawrence + Memorial are not in the ICU but many are.

“We have great ICU physicians and nurses that are continuing to take care and we’ve been able to stay on top of it and manage,” Torres said. “We’re pretty full.”

According to HHS, of the 33 ICU beds at Lawrence + Memorial, 22 are occupied.

“If you’re feeling short of breath, you’re having chest pains, by all means we’re here to take care of you,” Torres said. “You don’t have to come in just because you tested positive.”

These two hospitals are the biggest in eastern Connecticut but there are others that may have some ICU beds available, including Westerly Hospital and Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam.

Many with mild symptoms may be able to recuperate at home instead of in a hospital.

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