Local health professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the uptick in COVID-related illness and hospitlizations, especially as we approach the holiday gathering and travel season.
Frisbie Memorial Hospital recently released a statement encouraging people to stay safe and get vaccinated.
“Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Frisbie Memorial Hospital have seen increased traffic in our emergency rooms as all hospitals have across the region, state, and country,” according to a prepared statement released by HCA last week. “These volume increases can be attributed to higher numbers of COVID illness, people arriving at the ER after delaying care during the pandemic, seasonal increases, and lack of access to other avenues of care.”
Experiencing similar challenges, and seeing unprecedented demand for care, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital also released a statement urging people to get vaccinated, continue COVID-19 safety protocols, and seek treatment from primary care doctors and urgent care providers.
“Every med-surge floor in every wing is over 100% capacity,” said Adam Bagni, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, in an interview with Foster’s Daily Democrat. “This is an all-time high and we are trying to manage it as best we can, just like every other hospital across the state,” noting that the majority of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.
According to the article, COVID-19 numbers are on the rise around the state. New Hampshire health officials reported 928 new cases on November 17, with 317 people hospitalized, and 9 deaths. From November 11-17, there was an average of 851 new cases each day, a 19% increase over the previous seven-day period.
With extended ER wait times, health providers continue to urge vaccinations as a way to make rooms and resources available to other patients.
“We encourage anyone who feels they are experiencing a true emergency to go to the ER for treatment and assessment and we continue to encourage our community to get their COVID-19 vaccinations,” according to the statement released by Frisbie Memorial Hospital.
On November 19, Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, released a statement regarding the unprecedented rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state.
“This pandemic is not over,” Ahnen said. “With the Delta variant surge that we are seeing today, it remains critical that Granite Staters continue to practice the public health measures that we know help to slow the spread of COVID-19 like washing hands, wearing masks when indoors, staying socially distant, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.”
To learn more about getting vaccinated, dial 2-11 or visit www.covid19.nh.gov.