A year ago, North Country and Northeast Kingdom hospitals endured a COVID-19 crisis
A year ago, North Country and Northeast Kingdom hospitals endured a COVID-19 crisis. Intensive care units were filled to capacity with COVID patients. That created a capacity crunch and an increased need for transfers. In some cases patients were transferred out of state for available beds. However, COVID case numbers have declined 95 percent since the Omicron wave peaked with seven-day averages of 1,868 in Vermont on Jan. 9, 2022, and 3,745 in New Hampshire on Jan. 16, 2022. With fewer COVID patients, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital been better able to handle an increase in patient visits for respiratory illnesses this season. That includes a 140 percent increase in RSV patient visits last month, from 112 in Dec. 2021 to 269 Dec. 2022. Littleton Regional Healthcare reported that a quarter of emergency department visits in December were for respiratory illnesses but COVID impacts were moderate. Cottage Hospital in Woodsville reported that 18.7 percent of tests for Influenza A in December were positive, double the number of positive tests the prior month.