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US Navy medics due at New Mexico hospital strained by COVID

December 3, 2021 GMT

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A team of U.S. Navy health care providers is expected to arrive this weekend at San Juan Regional Medical Center, where an official said a continuing surge in COVID-19 patients has pushed the hospital to more than 200% of its critical care capacity.

Dr. Brad Greenberg, an emergency physician and medical director of emergency preparedness at the hospital, told The Farmington Daily Times the facility in northwest New Mexico faces the greatest critical care challenge among hospitals in the state.

Greenberg said the 194-bed hospital has been at more than twice its critical care capacity for several weeks.

Twenty military medical doctors, respiratory therapists and nurses are due to arrive Sunday to take over from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

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The hospital declared a standards-of-care crisis in early November, the Daily Times reported.

San Juan County had the largest rate of hospital admissions statewide in mid-November, at almost 60 patients per 100,000 population, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

The rate fell last week to about 44 hospital admissions per 100,000, behind De Baca County’s nearly 74 per 100,000.

State health officials say unvaccinated patients made up 84% of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide and 89% of deaths from Feb. 1 to Nov. 29.