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‘We don’t have a place to put you’: St. Charles Bend stressed by COVID-19 patient count

(Update: Adding information and video)

Hospital says high COVID patient count has delayed care for others

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- While Deschutes County entered the 'Lower Risk' COVID-19 category on Friday, due to rising vaccination numbers, St. Charles Bend continues to see dozens of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization, several in the intensive care unit.

The hospital has seen so many patients in the last year needing ventilators that "proning" has become a common occurrence in the intensive care unit. Proning is flipping a patient from laying on their back to laying on their stomach for an extended period of time – 18 hours to be exact. It's done to increase airflow.

The hospital reported 41 COVID-19 patients as of early Thursday morning -- more than, for example, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Five were in the ICU, three on ventilators.

"Since the pandemic started, people are having to get their surgeries bumped == including people who have cancer," Nathan Ansbaugh, an emergency room physician, said Thursday.

A spokeswoman for St. Charles Bend described their system being "under extreme stress".

The hospital will likely not be getting a break soon, as Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year for the emergency room, according to Ansbaugh.

"Right now, we don't have a place to put you," Ansbaugh said. "It affects everyone."

Ansbaugh told NewsChannel 21 that typically he used to only look to transfer one or two patients a month to other regional hospitals,. But recently, he said, nearly every patient is a candidate for transfer.

Since March 1, St. Charles has seen about 500 COVID-19 patients enter its emergency room -- and officials say 98% of them either were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

St. Charles is asking residents and visitors who are unvaccinated to continue to mask up, or better yet, get the vaccine as soon as possible, saying it will make a difference.

It's not only the hospital urging residents to continue to do your part. Bend's Mayor, Sally Russell shares a similar sentiment.

"We need to continue wearing masks, social distancing and getting vaccinated," Russell told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday. "If something happened to someone in my family right now, I would have a much tougher time finding care in Central Oregon right now because COVID is driving that over-capacity."

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



    1. Did you graduate from high school? You have no concept off what is a credible source of information. It’s sad that we have got to this point in our society. Propaganda is everywhere and the un educated ones are going to hurt the most from mis information.

      1. It is true, I saw it on OANN, Newsmax and YouTube! The Democrats are now eating and drinking the blood of adults now too! Trump said it, had to be true, he never lies.

    2. You better hope that you don’t have an emergency (like excess bile) needing medical care. You might be sitting out in the parking lot for a long time.

    3. None of the lefties responding to this video link give reasons why they disagree with the message. To me, it sounds like reading a transcript from an episode of “The View” where Whoopie and Joy spew garbage out of their mouths and claim that they are speaking from facts.

      1. Because the message is complete nonsense and you can’t argue against nonsense. They just make up additional nonsense to defend it. It’s a pointless endeavor.

  1. How come it’s not specified whether they are vaccinated or not? We have stats for everything but we seem to not identify vaccination status.

    1. Very few are vaccinated, typically less than 4% now. And if you don’t have a functioning immune system, the vaccine does nothing.

  2. There’s info floating around that half the Covid hospitalizations in St Charles is of vaccinated people. Can you check into that ?

      1. If either one of you are willing to step out and talk to someone that works in Icu they’ll be able to provide more info then any of us about positive cases and vaccines.

  3. What a bunch of phony baloney. If they are “under extreme stress”, it’s not because of covid and a mere 40 patients. Ridiculous sensationalist journalism and alarmism by the st Charles spokesperson.

    1. It’s obvious that you have no clue what it is like to take care of COVID patients. Forty patient’s on droplet or airborne isolation that are having difficulty breathing are significant load on the SCMC staff and resources. The staff are getting tired. They don’t want to come in to work at all and with 40 COVID patents in addition to the usual patient load, there is a need for them to come in extra. It’s reported nation wide that medical workers are looking at leaving their professions due to COVID. Central Oregon is no different. This is bad and has been for awhile and it’s affecting everyone, including patients who never had COVID. Patients are having worse outcomes because the staff are stretched thin. Patients should be in the ICU, but there’s no room or not enough staff to have them there so they take up space on floors that are ill-equipped and ill-staffed to handle their needs. Patients outside of the hospital are waiting long times or not getting their treatment/surgery at all because the beds are full or there isn’t enough staff to handle their needs in addition to everyone already in the hospital. The floors are nearly always understaffed, the patients are sicker/harder to care for, and finding help is often impossible. Many staff are doing two jobs at the same time to make things work. This is not baloney. It’s serious and its very annoying to the healthcare workers when people who don’t work at the hospital say that there isn’t extreme stress.

        1. Amen Gwretch. Clearly none of these armchair “experts” actually work in healthcare. It is beyond frustrating to those of us who do. Yes we are busier than ever, yes we are exhausted and it is a slap in the face when people tell us we are whining when we are working hard to care for someone who could be your family member, or even you. And Kate “Clown Cancel” your answer is No. Influenza does not result in the same critical care needs as covid does. You don’t see the same number of patients in ICU. Influenza does not require the same amount of ventilated patients. Numbers at the hospital are higher than in 2018. In addition to covid the hospital is very busy already with orthopedic injuries, strokes, other illness. We are seeing cancellation of important procedures for other patients as there is not enough staff or beds to accommodate them. Why would we make this up? What angle can you possibly fabricate as reason for St Charles and employees to lie about this?

      1. According to the OHA data on emergency room visits- since the **-Virus hit Oregonians were told to “stay home- stay safe go broke”- and that is what they did- creating 1000 fewer emergency room visits a week… so why weren’t these nurses and staff members complaining way back then ? You want stress ? Try working an ER for a weekend !

        1. No one ever told us to stay home and go broke, that’s a lie Barn and u know it. You told people over & over this deadly COVID-19 virus was fake and now those who listened to u are getting sick and being turned away from our overwhelmed hospital! U apologized to them yet? Oh and guess what, I have worked AND volunteered in an ER, in a red state too! hahaha jokes on you silly rabbit.

    2. COVID-19 patients need a specific type of care, like the turning of patients described in the article, that are very time consuming require numerous people instead of the normal one. Add in concerns about lungs and intubation then you also need regular x-rays and other procedures to make sure nothing was damaged when the patient is turned and to verify improvement or possible worsening.
      The questions about if there are 40 patients what is the big deal. The big deal is the hospital was built for our needs WITHOUT COVID-19. This weekend there will be so many heart attacks, injuries and of course our dreaded car accidents. If we have 2 floors of non traditional patients it becomes substantially more difficult to care for the additional load. Hospitals have specific safety’s put into place and guided by state guidelines. Not enough beds open (for ANY reason) and elective surgeries are canceled. Etc.
      I knew vaccines helped, but to hear 98% of the years COVID-19 patients that walked into the ER, about 500, were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated stunned me.

  4. Hospitalizations will decrease the next few weeks as their is a direct correlation with vaccinations and Covid hospital beds. The problem is that Covid is a dangerous virus that comes with a high hospitalization rate. The non vaccers will keep getting each other sick.

    1. If you’re vaccinated, what are you worried about? If you’re correct, then all those ” uneducated” people will all die off and you’ll be in a world controlled by hysteria along with the rest of the sheeple.😂😂😂😂😂

      1. Well, hypothetically, if un-vaccinated people continue to contract and get sick from (sometimes die of) COVID-19, the IQ of the general population would go up substantially. But you keep calling vaccinated people SHEEPLE. Lick some toilet seats and shopping cart handles to *own the libs* while you’re at it.

    2. Yes…that’s what it sounds like. Non-vaxxers stick together…I mean they are members of an extended family or social group…they are infecting each other…it is what is commonly known as ‘karma’…as the Beatles said…Instant Karma’s goin’ to get ya…gonna knock you right off your feet’.

      1. Non vaxxers? I think most people have all vaccines, but are hesitant on this new medication that is not fda approved. That does not mean they are anti vaxxers. BOZO

        1. The FDA approved that lettuce that gave everybody E.Coli. Ditto for salmonella outbreaks. Hmmm. How long of an FDA-approved stint did Zantac enjoy? Yeah. You smart winners, you.

      2. Maybe it is because the “Non-vaxxers” can look at statistics and see that only 5.6% of COVID diagnoses require ICU care in the 70-79 age group; substantially less for other age groups. Even if you’re in that percentage, you have a 99+% chance of surviving. Many will take their chances of fighting the virus rather than the unknown side-effects of the vaccine.

        1. The vaccines have no know long term side effects after hundreds of millions of doses being given globally. COVID 19 has numerous long term side effects that we know about, and probably more that we don’t yet know about.

          Seems like the people chancing it with the virus are being fools.

          1. A vaccine that has been in use less than a year does not correlate to knowing long term side-effects. In my opinion, long term means years down the road. That’s like saying if you haven’t gotten cancer from smoking after 6 months, then you should be okay to smoke the next 30 years.

  5. Trumpers are active in these comments. So sad people believe his beliefs and other GOP wack jobs like MTG. The Dems didn’t start this to bring down Trump with the help of every country in the world. Hell, Trump ruined his own chances of re-election by being a complete moron. Funny thing is, if he would have just pretended to care about Americans instead of himself he probably would have won, all he had to do was once or twice a week make a statement showing he cared. PRETEND, he couldn’t even do that, and his cult members are the same way.

    1. C’mon. We all know the Dems are ALL POWERFUL and they brought the rest of the world to it’s knees with this hoaxvirus.. Amazing what these rubes believe, really it *IS* a cult.

  6. Why does the latest reporting indicate barely half of ST Charles employees have been vaccinated? Why should I buy in if they can’t get their own staff to buy-in?

    1. Bcz they’re dumb. No other way to answer your question, but with honesty. They be lacking somewhere. Probably still upset that trump lost and acting out. Still dumb tho doncha think? #scienceisfun

  7. Perhaps for all of you who think that St Charles is making it up you should volunteer at the hospital (as I suggested to Bend Mama).

    Take on a nurse shift, see how it works, or not (since you think it’s a hoax).

    Hope nobody you care for tests positive. Or spreads it to you.

    Pity the medical professionals just can’t, don’t or won’t say “nope, can’t take care of you, since you are a non~believer”.

    1. 5 covid patients and 3 on ventilators in the ICU….not saying it’s fake, but if that is crippling our health system we are in a lot of trouble.

  8. Five covid patients in the ICU and 3 on ventilators. If this cripples St. Charles, this community is screwed with the current growth rate. In fact, maybe that is the main issue with the full hospital? KTVZ may want to do a report on that.

    1. Yup, “only” five patients on death’s doorstep, along with the other 41 or so Covid patients hospitalized, and others wandering into the ER with Covid symptoms to be diagnosed and possibly not hospitalized. You’ve again shown you lack of understanding the impacts of real world events. Time to call for another round and feel smug about your (stupid) comment. Try not to trip over your inflated ego on the way out.

    2. there are 42 covid patients in the hospital currently, in a hospital that is already near capacity. That means 42 beds not available for any new trauma, illness etc. You are right about the growth rate also though. Bend is not prepared for the number of people moving here in more way than one,

  9. So sad that almost all those in there struggling to breathe basically chose to be there. I feel sorry for the staff that’s had to deal with this for so long, and now need to care for what is now a preventable disease.

    1. “Chose to be there”???? You have inside information on these patients? Do they have COPD, lung cancer, or such things? Please get the facts before you post stupid crap.

      1. “I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it — and a lot of those people voted for me frankly.”
        “It is a safe vaccine, and it is something that works.” Former President Donald J. Trump, March 16, 2021

  10. At this point the people choosing not to get a vaccine and live their lives like they are immune are jeopardizing the whole community. If you wont get vaccinated wear your mask! I hope everyone has a safe weekend and has no need for medical care here in CO!

  11. Hey Lerten. I dyed half of my hair purple and the other half blue, got some piercings and a sleeve tatoo. Orange man still bad and I have Covid too. Pick me for a KTVZ story.

  12. We are inundated with stupid people. This is a Fox News affiliate. Get your news from Fox News and you seriously are in need of a brain transplant. You just can’t cure stupid. What you people need to understand is the virus is more deadly than the vaccine. If you think otherwise when you get sick do us all a favor and stay home. Don’t go to the hospital because you think this is a hoax. You’ve been duped

    1. That’s not a gamble I’m willing to take. I’ll stick with my HCQ. It has proven very effective. And it’s safer that asprin.

  13. Thank you St. Charles Emergency Services for your continued commitment and communication with our community. Fully vaccinated and three in our house have first shots, including a 12 year old. We appreciate you and will wear our masks to protect our beloved community. Big hugs. With love, Central Oregon.

  14. St. Charles is a JOKE! Before they were saying they were overflowing with COVID19 patients and that was a flat out LIE! Now yall are complaining that all these patients that were told to stay away unless they had the covid 19 are coming in for procedures that have been pushed back and back and finally want them done, reap what you sew

    1. Exactly. Only reason they are getting full now is because of all the people that were told to stay away and now those people are booking the hospital up. It’s not because of covid.

  15. St. Charles and nearly the entire health community plus government and media hacks should be ignored and judged with utter contempt. Why? Because they’re amazing at doom and gloom, they’re incredible at recognizing the damage done after the fact of getting this virus for many at-risk people. But they say NOTHING about preventative care and there are MANY options for people to pursue with their doctors that could mitigate pain, suffering, and what could prove to be an unnecessary trip to the hospital. They say NOTHING about the massive difference eating healthy, losing weight and getting exercise could do for at-risk people. Why isn’t there any of that messaging in “stories” like this? You egged it on, you fed the beast, you scared the ever loving cr*p out of people for 15 months and did nothing but toss masks and BS at them. Good. Job. Everyone.

  16. Hospitals are full and there is no room for patients but somehow the Risk Level is being lowered cause the vaccine is working ? Makes no **** sense. Always feeding the public all kinds of lies.

  17. It is kinda weird that st chucks says it doesn’t have any room for anymore covid patients since there trying to push this vaccine so hard on everybody. But yet deshutes county is listed in low risk. Bit when we where in extreme I could be wrong but I don’t remember them making this statement is it just a ploy to get more shots into arms? Who knows anymore? The way they are bribing and pushing so hard here in Oregon is really pathetic and we really don’t know what to believe anymore.

    1. We don’t know what to believe anymore is indeed true. Look how the mainstream media treated the story about the Wuhan Lab leak theory. All the jokes and slander about how “conspiracy theorists” were behind any story promoting the Wuhan Lab leak. You were also called racist if you believed that Covid originated in the Wuhan Lab.

      Now the government and the MSM are leaning toward Covid-19 originating in the Wuhan Lab. In doing so the MSM is admitting that “conspiracy theorists” are actually more accurate than the MSM many times.

      Very sad times indeed.

  18. Just for the heck of it.
    They say they have several in the intensive care unit.

    Learn to pronounce
    determiner · pronoun
    more than two but not many.

  19. There was an ubiased story week or 2 ago and when someone complimented the z on it some reason Barney got mad so we’re getting it skewed now the other way. So according to this article deschutes being 65% vaccinated was a lie then

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