Wasatch Back Hospitals Continue To Prepare For Potential Surge

Wasatch Back Hospitals are reporting they have ample healthy staff and personal protective gear but that isn’t stopping them from preparing for a potential surge.

While Summit County Health Department has not published the number of hospitalizations in the county, Wasatch County Health Department has reported four of their cases have been hospitalized at both the Heber and Park City hospitals. Heber Valley Hospital Administrator Si Hutt explains patient care is based on the individual case.

“Park City does have an intensive care unit that’s the main difference between the two hospitals,” Hutt explained. “So, between Heber Valley Hospital and Park City Hospital, we will be able to take care of most patients on the Wasatch Back. There will be some patients that we’ll transfer to our tertiary hospitals because we think that’s in their best interest given the situation.”

Hutt says as of right now the Wasatch Back hospitals have the staff and personal protection equipment that they need to provide health care to patients.

“That hospitals are safe,” Hutt continued. “We are able to take care of our patients whether they present with COVID-19 symptoms, or with any other emergency, or need to have a baby, or need to come in for a test that needs to be done right now. So, all of those services are open and available. We’re taking extra precautions to have screeners of the door, etc. We want to limit visitors and we want to limit those that don’t need to be at a hospital for something right now, but we are able to take care of the full range of patients that we always have been.”

Although the hospital won’t say how many ventilators they have, Hutt says they do have them available and that resources are shared throughout the Intermountain Health Care system. IHC has also expanded its ability to test for COVID-19. Those with symptoms can be evaluated and tested near the Park City ice arena. Curbside testing is also available outside the Heber Instacare.

“If you’re feeling symptoms that are severe and feel that you need to go to the emergency department, we would encourage you to go to the nearest emergency department,” Hutt said. “Call ahead, that really helps us to know that you’re coming and to be prepared for when you come.”

Hutt says they’re working with nonprofits to produce more masks for healthcare workers but for now, they’re asking residents to not drop off homemade cloth masks or other items

“Please don’t bring anything and drop off things either for patients or for our caregivers,” Hutt continued. “In lieu of drop off donations, somebody could consider giving online which would be great. The phone number there is 801-442-3443 and that would certainly be helpful, but we’re asking people not to donate at the hospitals at this time.”

Hutt thanked the community for their outpouring and assured them that the hospital is prepared to take care of infectious patients.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.