SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Leaders with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System said Monday evening, their hospitals are filling up with COVID patients and many of their facilities are at or above capacity.
Spartanburg’s top health leaders are sounding the alarm. The vice president with Spartanburg Regional told Spartanburg City Council Monday night, the number of COVID cases they’re seeing is going the wrong direction. Five weeks ago, they only had about three cases. As of Monday morning, that number was at 99.
Amanda Blom and Ashley Jones have seen a lot of tragedy and death over the last year and a half.
“I think we are used to death and tragedy but on this mass scale, day after day, it’s a little different. It’s almost like developing a little PTSD,” said Traveling Nurse from the Upstate, Amanda Blom.
“We were opening beds in GI labs and places like that, just to have room for patients,” Ashley Jones told us who works as a nurse in the Upstate.
Just when they told us they started to see the silver lining early this year, more COVID patients started trickling in. But this time, at younger ages.
“All of our hospitals are full, we are at or above capacity,” said Dr. David Church with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System during Monday evening’s Spartanburg City Council meeting.
They’re not the only healthcare workers tracking this trend.
“The average age of the COVID patients in our healthcare system in the winter, before the vaccines really kicked in was 68 years old. Today, our COVID patients’ average age is 55 years old,” Dr. Church said.
Dr. David Church and his colleague, Dr. Natashia Jeter said their team at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is exhausted. Adding, there’s no easy way out of this but vaccines are helping.
“Even if they get sick, they are able to stay home and not be hospitalized. More importantly, people who are vaccinated are not dying at the rate of the unvaccinated,” Dr. Natashia Jeter with Spartanburg Regional told Spartanburg City Council.
Some Spartanburg City Council members are calling for a mask mandate to be brought back in some city buildings.
Others, suggested waiting and keep encouraging masks in the meantime.
As for a vaccine mandate among Spartanburg Regional employees, Dr. Church said they’re not there yet but that idea is under consideration. However he said, they’re hoping employees will take the vaccine voluntarily.