Local Physician pleads with public to follow safety guidelines ahead of holidays

COLUMBIA (WOLO)– According to Prisma Health physicians, it’s around the holidays we typically experience a surge of covid-19 cases. Right now, the Midlands is seeing a significant increase in cases after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Health experts are now pleading with the public to follow CDC guidelines as we move closer to Christmas Day.

For nearly 2 consecutive weeks South Carolina’s coronavirus cases have hit more than 2-thousand a day, and according to Dr. Steve Shelton with Prisma Health, they’re now spiking closer to home. “Prisma health has seen a significant increase over the past couple weeks. In our market, most of the surge has been in the upstate, however the Midlands is starting to see some of that surge also.”

As of Monday, Prisma Health housed 116 covid-19 patients at their four hospitals. 

“That is an increase from the mid-70s we saw approximately two weeks ago, so we’re seeing the numbers the upstate is seeing and we’re watching what this particular surge has. ”

Local testing sites are packed, and now as we inch closer to holiday travel, Dr. Shelton says it’s not time to let our guard down. 

“It’s very important that the public steps up and takes some responsibility. It’s what they do or don’t do that could shape what our healthcare system looks like in the coming weeks. It’s very important that they mask, maintain social distance, wash hands frequently, and avoid large gatherings if possible.”

Over the course of the pandemic, Prisma health has cared for nearly 5,000 covid-19 patients, and while they say they have the resources to care for these patients…Dr. Shelton says, “our health care team is tired, but they continue to work hard to do this. Spend the day with me and watch the individuals sick with this disease, struggling to breathe, have to be supported and very sick. This is real.”

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