Regional health officials urge public to help reduce strain on hospitals
EASTON, Md. – Regional health officials are asking the public to help alleviate the unprecedented strain that the current COVID-19 surge is placing on the area’s EMS personnel, frontline responders, and hospitals.
We’re told that in just the past two weeks, more than 5,500 confirmed COVID-19 infections have been reported in the five-county region of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties. This exceeds the numbers seen over the two-year lifespan of this pandemic.
Dr. William Hufner, MD, Chief Medical Officer for UM Shore Regional Health, says that over 70% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, and fewer than 5% received a booster shot.
Officials have also noted that the public should keep in mind that patients arriving for emergency care are triaged for care based on their degree of illness or injury, whether they come in on their own or by ambulance.
Regional health experts are pleading for the community to help in this fight by doing the following:
- Do not go to an emergency department to obtain a COVID-19 test; go to an approved testing site or use a home test kit
- Limit 911 EMS calls to true emergencies
- Contact your primary care provider or go to an Urgent Care center for illness that does not require emergency care
- Get vaccinated and/or receive the COVID-19 booster, and encourage others to do the same
- Wear a well-fitting mask when in public. If you are concerned or have high risk medical problems, wear a KN95 or N95 mask
- Practice social distancing and wash hands frequently
- Limit exposure to others, especially if there has been close contact with someone known to have COVID-19 or there are COVID-19 symptoms