Experiencing a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Tidelands Health urges community members to take action now to slow the sprea

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on October 26, 2020

Experiencing a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Tidelands Health urges community members to take action now to slow the spread

Tidelands Health has experienced a dramatic spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past month and is strongly encouraging community members to take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Tidelands Waccamaw Community HospitalSince Oct. 1, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Tidelands Health has increased 385 percent. As of Monday morning, 34 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. Nine COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, and three are on ventilators. ICU capacity is at 127 percent, and overall hospital capacity is at 103 percent.

On Oct. 1, less than four weeks ago, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Tidelands Health was seven.

“It is imperative we slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health. “As health care professionals, we continue to sound the alarm. This virus is a real threat to the people of our community, and we must all work together to protect one another.

Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital“Wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently. Taking these simple steps will help limit the spread of COVID-19, help us get control of this virus and help keep our health care resources from becoming overwhelmed.”

In addition to taking steps to protect against COVID-19, Tidelands Health encourages those six months old and older to get a flu shot. A flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu and can help lessen the severity if you do contract the virus. Getting a flu shot also reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalization.

Flu shots are readily available at Tidelands Health Family Medicine locations. To schedule an appointment, call 1-866-TIDELANDS.

Through its Safe in Our Care initiative, Tidelands Health also strongly encourages community members not to delay needed health care such as primary care visits, screenings such as mammograms and treatments for chronic conditions such as diabetes. Delaying needed medical care can have serious consequences.

“Take care of yourself, and help take care of our community,” Dr. Harmon said. “Seek the medical care you need, get your flu shot, and take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. That’s how we co-exist with this virus.”

Finally, community members planning to celebrate Halloween this weekend should take extra precautions. If planning to hand out candy, be sure to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, distribute the treats outdoors and, of course, wash your hands before handling treats and wear a face mask. Consider setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take to avoid direct contact.

For those trick-or-treating, be sure to wear your face mask properly. Make your mask part of your costume, and don’t wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. That can make breathing more difficult. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask. And, as always, stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you. Find more tips for safe Halloween celebrations at cdc.gov.

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Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.