Dayton General Hospital in Columbia County recently got its first confirmed case of covid-19. Staff had been trying to prepare for an outbreak for the past month, but are low on masks and other protective gear, and are having a hard time finding it anywhere. As a recent Post story noted, rural hospitals are at the "tail end of supply chains" for medical gear, and are most likely to have difficulty keeping critical supplies in stock.
|Dayton, in Columbia County, Wash.|
Dayton has no coal miners, but the increased need for oxygen tanks highlights a potential problem for rural hospitals in coal-mining areas: Covid-19 will hit black-lung patients harder, Will Wade reports for Bloomberg. The United Mine Workers of America recently warned that miners are at "significant risk" when the virus spreads to coal-mining areas, since they work in enclosed spaces where the virus can be easily transmitted.
Another concern in Dayton and other rural hospitals: staffing numbers are so low that, if any hospital workers catch the virus, it could grind operations to a halt, Saslow reports.
The lack of local hospital beds worries Dan Brown, a former council member in Bellaire, Ohio, near Wheeling, W.Va., Liam Niemeyer reports for Ohio Valley ReSource, a public-radio consortium. "The number of beds have gone down so dramatically. I can’t imagine if we had any kind of outbreak, with a two percent or five percent fatality rate, we’re in deep trouble," Brown told Niemeyer. "The whole thing is setting up for failure."