Guard active at TRMC

Published 8:16 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

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Staff members at Troy Regional Medical Center will get a brief respite from the coronavirus.

On Monday, a deployment from the Alabama National Guard arrived at TRMC to lend a helping hand during the coronavirus pandemic. TRMC Chief Executive Officer Rick Smith said the hospital had been requesting staffing help for quite some time.

Smith said the pandemic has placed a tremendous stress on the hospital’s resources and personnel over the past 18 months and the help from the Alabama National Guard was greatly appreciated.

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“Since the Delta Variant began, we’ve been asking for help, and so has every hospital in the state,” Smith said. “Nurses normally work three 12 hour shifts, but they’ve been working four or five shifts. The pandemic has not only taken a physical toll on our employees, it’s taken an emotional toll as well. We’ve seen a lot of death during the pandemic that a hospital this size normally wouldn’t see. We’re thrilled to get the help from the National Guard and I think it will be a real asset for our community. This will give our employees a much needed respite from the coronavirus.”

Smith said the deployment consists of a command staff, four medics and a registered nurse. Smith said the guardsmen have all been cross trained to respond to a wide scope of medical needs related to the pandemic. He said the guard’s duties at TRMC are strictly related to support for the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the guard will be deployed for one month, but there is a possibility the deployment could be extended.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the transmission rate for Pike County has been downgraded from high to substantial, meaning 8 to 9 percent of all COVID-19 tests are confirmed as positive. A high risk indicator means more than 10 percent of the COVID-19 tests are positive.

ADPH data indicates there were 18 positive tests out of 197 COVID-19 tests in the last week in Pike County. Statewide, the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 have fallen from 2,890 on Sept. 1 to 1,084 on Oct. 6.

While the current Delta Variant appears to have passed its peak of infection, the last surge from the variant caused 2021 deaths and confirmed cases to eclipse the totals for 2020 in both Pike County and the state.

The total reported cases in Pike County stands at 4,680 with 2,118 in 2020 and 2,562 in 2021. There were 41 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in 2020 and 61 in 2021 for a total of 102 deaths attributed to coronavirus in Pike County.

Statewide, there were a total of 388,402 reported cases in 2020 and 415,847 in 2021. The number of deaths for 2020 reached 7,188 and the total for 2021 is 7,424.

Troy Regional Medical Center continues to offer free vaccination clinics on Fridays from 1-4 p.m. Anyone that wants a vaccine can come to the front desk at the hospital’s main entrance.