Willis-Knighton Health System is prepared and more flexible with its resources during COVID-19

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Stacey Tinsley, Bossier Press-Tribune

With a potential third wave of COVID-19 on the horizon for the fall, combined with the regular flu season, Willis-Knighton Health System is prepared and more flexible with its resources.

As the summer months have warmed up, many states have relaxed some of the strict social distancing and stay-at-home protocols first put in place back in March. However, many are forgetting that we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Some states have been seeing a drop in cases and deaths, leading them through several phases of reopening. However, other states have seen an increase in coronavirus cases, leading healthcare and hospital facilities to prepare for what is being called the ‘third wave’ of the virus.

“We are certainly worried about a third wave. The COVID numbers are starting to trend down again, just like we saw in the first and second waves. But, we believe it’s just a matter of time before we see another resurgence. The things we are worried about are Labor Day, school going back into session, flu season that is coming up and the colder months. We are praying that there’s not a third wave, but I think this is something that we are going to have to live with. And, not just for weeks or months. We may have to live with this for years. We have to prepare for that. It’s challenging for our people, but they are great warriors and great people. They have been exemplary through this crisis,” said Brian Crawford, Willis-Knighton Health System Chief Administrative Officer.

“Even though it’s been challenging for everybody, it’s made the Willis- Knighton Health System stronger and more resilient. It is actually reshaping not only our health system, but it is reshaping the health system of America and in the world really. I think Willis-Knighton is doing really well with keeping up with these changes and being able to adapt to this new normal,” he added.

When the first and second waves of elevated COVID-19 cases hit our area, Willis-Knighton Health System saw anywhere between 80 to 100 COVID-19 inpatient cases daily with each wave throughout the system.

Willis-Knighton Health System has seen more than 60% of the inpatient COVID cases in Northwest LA throughout the pandemic and currently. They are currently ranked in the top 5 hospitals in the state in terms of COVID-19 patients.

“From the second wave (July 1st through July 31st), Willis-Knighton Health System averaged 75 COVID-19 inpatient cases daily. And, we had a high of 96 patients on July 24th. From August 1st through August 8th, we were still averaging about 76 COVID patients daily with a high of about 83 patients on Aug. the 5th,” Crawford said.

“During that first wave, of those that were tested by Willis-Knighton, the major age groups that we found that were positive at that time (March 15th through May 30th), fell between the ages of 41 to 70. So in the second wave (June 1st through August 5th), the trend has shifted to younger ages 18 to 40 years old,” he added.

Courtesy Photos (Willis-Knighton Health System)