Spartanburg doctor’s urgent message ahead of holiday, offers optimism alongside grim latest numbers

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Grim numbers out of Spartanburg, healthcare leaders there said they’re dealing with the highest number of in-patient COVID-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began. A doctor with Spartanburg Regional spoke at Monday night’s Spartanburg City Council meeting, offering an extra word of caution ahead of Thanksgiving.

“We are faced with what could be massive numbers of people getting sicker, getting hospitalized and unfortunately, some of them dying,” said Dr. Christopher Lombardozzi with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

A warning from leaders with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare.

“The upstate is experiencing the highest seven-day moving average than we’ve ever seen during this pandemic. The trends are not good,” said Dr. Lombardozzi.

Dr. Chris Lombardozzi brought this urgent message to Spartanburg city leaders just days before one of the biggest family gatherings of the year.

He shared with 7 News his concern of what will happen if people don’t adhere to his words of caution.

“It’s one of the greatest fears of every healthcare organization that one day you wake up, there are too many people to take care of and not enough beds and staff to do it,” Dr. Lombardozzi told us.

Right now, he said they’re at 95% capacity. That’s compared to their typical 85% to 90%.

However, he said, there is a glimmer of optimism.

“It looks like a vaccine is on its way,” Dr. Lombardozzi said.

When that vaccine does come, he wants people to get on board.

“We really like everyone to get behind that, this is a way for businesses to get back to normal, it’s a way for schools to get back to normal, it’s a way for us not to have so many sick patients and people dying,” said Dr. Lombardozzi.

Dr. Lombardozzi told us, hitting that 100% capacity wouldn’t be unprecedented for them. However, he said he’s hoping people really follow safety guidelines this Thanksgiving.

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