Inland Empire hospital workers prepare for next coronavirus wave

The Press Enterprise – As more has been learned, treatments have shifted. At Hemet Global Medical Center, patients often receive anticoagulant medication to prevent blood clotting. Blood clotting has led to those infected with COVID-19 dying of strokes and heart attacks. Early use of steroids has also been helpful, according to the hospital’s Dr. John Carvalho. Cases are already on their way back up at Hemet Global Medical Center, according to Carvalho. “Things had slowed down for quite a bit for some time, so much so that we were able to reduce some of our (staffing) on the COVID team,” he said. “But recently, in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a big uptick in positive readings and we’re bracing for the next big surge.” The hospital’s COVID-19 cases peaked in May. By September, its numbers had decreased so far that the hospital was able to close a COVID-19 isolation ward and consolidate staff. “For the majority of people, they started to take things seriously, I think that’s why we saw lower numbers in the summer,” Carvalho said. “My concern is that we relaxed things a little bit too much too quickly.” Carvalho doesn’t expect the coronavirus to go anywhere without a dramatic change. “I think it’s going to keep circling around until we either have a vaccine or do a full lockdown,” he said. “Either we do that to stop it or we at least linger.” Carvalho is worried the public, exhausted by the pandemic, will start backsliding and stop wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands, causing the whole region to slip backwards dramatically, as the flu season hits. “That double-hit could be catastrophic,” he said. “We did a great job once, and I think we saw a good effect on it once. I just hope we don’t get too lax and let it surge again.”