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COVID cases continuing to climb

As the number of cases again climbs throughout the United States, this is not the time to become complacent. That is the message this week from various experts who are now seeing first-hand an increase in cases that nearly rivals the June / July timeframe.

Nearly 80,000 new cases were reported on Saturday, close to the previous day (Friday) record of 84,400 new cases. So far in October, 29 states have set records for increases in new cases including Alabama and hospitalized patients in the mid-west states hit a record for the 9th consecutive day. Nationwide, more than 41,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, up 40 percent from the past month, according to sources. If this trend continues, we risk detrimental effects to our entire healthcare system. Hospital systems in neighboring Tennessee have suspended elective surgeries again which all but crippled hospitals across the country when surgical cases were halted in April / May. Still other areas in the US are considering Alternative Care sites, a plan that was considered during the initial surge early in the pandemic.  If 95 percent of Americans wore masks in public, nearly 130,000 COVID-19 deaths could be prevented between Sep. 22, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, according to a published report. Researchers analyzed COVID-19 data from Feb. 1 to Sept. 21, 2020, to model possible trajectories of COVID-19 infections and the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions in the U.S. The study also found an additional 95,814 lives could be saved if 85 percent of Americans wore masks.

I wrote last week of the Fall – Winter surge and as we approach the historical Flu season, we may well be feeling the effects. As we continue with daily preparations at Troy Regional Medical Center, be assured the safety of our patients, visitors, providers, and team members is our single most important focus. Please do your part to help us slow and hopefully control the spread of this deadly infection.

Wash your hands

Watch your distance

Wear your mask.

Rick Smith, FACHE, is CEO of Troy Regional Medical Center.