COVID-19 cases climb: What this means for you and Upstate hospitals

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – There’s been quite an uptick in Coronavirus cases in South Carolina over the last few days.

7 News spoke with medical professionals to find out what this means for Upstate hospitals and for you.

“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster of kind of being ready to change with what we’re seeing,” Dr. Jay Blankenship said.

Dr. Jay Blankenship is an ER doctor for Bon Secours and said, when the Coronavirus pandemic first started, there was an initial spike in cases; but he said things plateaued with the shutdown.

“I think all of Greenville did a really good job of trying to be strict with social distancing. Really, what happened is our volumes went down significantly and the ER was pretty quiet. People were trying to stay at home,” he said.

But he told 7 News that has since changed.

“It’s picked up recently for sure,” he said.

And the segment of the population impacted by the virus has also changed to younger, healthier people.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of 20 and 30-something-year-olds who have been testing positive,” he said. “They also are not coming in, typically, with classic shortness of breath. It’s a lot of fatigue and kind of vaguer symptoms.”

He said, while these young people may handle the virus well, others they come into contact with may not.

“Obviously, they have families, they have loved ones. So, just because they’re doing well with it, doesn’t mean that their family members necessarily will,” he said.

So far, Dr. Blankenship says the spike in cases has not overwhelmed hospitals or their resources… yet.

“The hospitals have been able to manage pretty well,” he said. “I think our resources are still in pretty good shape.”

But to keep it that way, he said they’ll need the community’s help–by continuing to wear masks, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.

“This increase in positive cases and also the increase in the rate at which these tests are becoming positive does suggest that it’s still important that we try to social distance so that we don’t overwhelm our medical resources,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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