'Tripledemic' causing local health systems to reconsider guidelines

NOW: ’Tripledemic’ causing local health systems to reconsider guidelines

The 'tripledemic' -- COVID-19, influenza and RSV -- is quickly filling up hospital beds nationwide and here at home.

Although local health systems haven't hit capacity yet, they are getting prepared now-- just in case.

Officials at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center say they're ready to adapt to any sudden changes.

Hospital restrictions are based on Center for Disease Control guidelines and community transmission rates.

If they receive new information from the CDC, new protocols could be put into place-- but most likely, specifically for staff.

They do not anticipate mandating masks for hospital visitors.

If anything, masks would continue to be strongly encouraged.

The acting chief medical officer, Arthur Schroeder, recommends staying up to date on vaccinations to curb the spread, adding, it's not too late to get your covid or flu shot if you haven't already.

Vaccination rates are lower than normal this year-- which is causing concerns ahead of the holidays, especially if you're planning to celebrate with extended family.

Pregnant women, older people, and young children and babies, considered the most vulnerable, are more at risk of getting sick.

"Those are the people that are going to end up in the hospital. the over 65 and the really young. but's because we're passing it to each other. So if the people in the middle of those age ranges get vaccinated, it will help those most vulnerable and most likely to be in the hospital for severe illnesses," said Schroeder.

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