Spartanburg Regional says beds are full with mostly unvaccinated COVID patients

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg Regional and DHEC held a joint news conference on Wednesday to give an update on COVID and what they’re dealing with at our local hospitals.

“Three people. Three people, in an hour, were coding,” Dr. Chris Lombardozzi said. “‘Coding’ means they’re dying. In one hour.”

Health leaders with Spartanburg Regional say death is becoming all too common at their hospital.

“When people like us went into medicine, we went into medicine for a reason. We went into medicine to help people. We didn’t get into medicine to watch people die from things that are preventable,” Dr. Lombardozzi said.

Out of the 225 people who are currently hospitalized for COVID at Spartanburg Regional, 213 are not vaccinated.

“I’m not a mathematician, but I think that’s about 96-97%,” Dr. Lombardozzi said. “Our beds are full. Our ICUs are full. We are struggling.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris Lombardozzi told 7 News this is becoming a real problem.

“It is causing all kinds of disruption in our ability to deliver care to our community–and not just for people who have COVID,” Lombardozzi said. “If you’ve been to one of our emergency departments lately, you may have had to wait for hours and hours on end, because we just can’t keep up.”

The hospital said they currently have 52 people in their ICU, 50 of which did not get the shot.

They have 30 people on ventilators and only one of those people has been vaccinated.

“We are now in the 18th, 19th, 20th month. I can’t even keep count anymore,” Lombardozzi said. “It feels like it just will not go away. The reason it will not go away is because people are not getting their shots.”

Right now, health officials said only 39% of people in Spartanburg County are fully vaccinated, putting us in 30th place in our state, county-wise.

They’re hopeful that, with the Pfizer vaccine being approved by the FDA, that will change.

“I encourage you, if you’re on the fence about vaccination, take this as just another piece of evidence that these are safe and effective,” DHEC’s Director of Public Health Dr. Brannon Traxler said.

“We’re tired of meeting with young families, delivering bad news. Folks who are in the hospital now are much younger than they were in the winter. Much younger,” Lombardozzi added. “These are tragic stories. We shouldn’t have to tell them.”

DHEC wants to remind everyone that there will be a vaccination clinic at Dorman High School this Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

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