MASON CITY, Iowa - COVID-19 is causing the number of hospitalizations to jump in many states, including Iowa and Minnesota.
At one local hospital, there are actually fewer COVID-19 patients as of late.
As of Friday afternoon, MercyOne North Iowa reported 26 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That number is down from 30 patients a couple of weeks ago.
MercyOne North Iowa CEO Rod Schlader says bed space is tight at the hospital. Not because of an influx of COVID patients, but their beds are full with medical and surgical patients.
The critical care unit holds 18 patients and that is also full, only six are COVID-19 patients.
The hospital has set aside extra space for a COVID surge, but have yet to use it.
Schlader says the length of time patients are in the hospital is declining, thanks to some new treatments.
"We've been using Remdesivir so that wasn't available in March and that's readily available now, so that helps with the time that they're in the hospital. We're also using some plasma in certain situations," said Schlader.
He also said ventilators are now being used only as a last resort, which is also cutting down on hospital time for patients.