MANCHESTER, Iowa -- The Manchester hospital announced today that it is nearing its inpatient capacity, thanks in part to patients with COVID-19.

Regional Medical Center issued a statement saying that it is" experiencing inpatient capacity concerns in our Medical/Surgical/Intensive Care Department" due to COVID-19, the respiratory virus RSV and "other illnesses and injuries."

The hospital also reported that it was "having difficulty transferring patients needing higher levels of care to larger facilities in surrounding cities. This is due to these larger facilities experiencing inpatient capacity concerns as well. So, instead of transferring patients where we typically would to Cedar Rapids, Dubuque or Waterloo, RMC is sometimes having to transfer patients farther away to locations such as Des Moines or Mason City."

RMC Chief Nursing Officer Heather Ries stated in the release, "This situation is very real. Contrary to some perceptions, COVID-19 is not an elderly person disease. With the new delta variant that is circulating, younger people ranging from their mid-20s to 50s are getting sicker and sicker more quickly than with the previous strain of COVID-19. Seeing young people this sick is very difficult and trying for our team members.”

The release noted that the hospital's inpatient levels fluctuate on a daily basis and that hospital leaders regularly communicate and monitor that status.

“We understand this information may be alarming," said CEO Danette Kramer in the release. "However, we want our community to be aware and knowledgeable of what is happening around them and at their local hospital."

Hospital leaders stressed that people should still come to the hospital for their routine or emergency medical care. 

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