VA agreement adds six beds as COVID cases and hospitalizations climb
September 30, 2021
As the number of Montanans hospitalized with COVID-19 reached its highest level since winter last week week, Gov. Greg Gianforte said his administration has secured an agreement to make six hospital beds at the Fort Harrison VA medical center available for patients who don't otherwise qualify for health care through the Veterans Affairs system.
As of Friday, state health authorities reported the state has 416 active COVID-19 hospitalizations stemming from the renewed surge in cases that began in July. According to state data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, the state's record hospitalization count so far in the pandemic was 506 patients on November 20 of last year.
Even without breaking the record, the latest wave of COVID-19 cases, coupled with a shortage of health care workers, has stretched Montana's emergency care system increasingly thin. Multiple hospitals in the state have said they're being forced to consider rationing medical services and supplies.