With half of its beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, officials at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance have announced intensive care beds are at full capacity.
According to CKHA President Lori Marshall, the situation is deeply concerning and leaves a lot of uncertainty for what’s to come.
“I am both disheartened and quite worried about our situation,” said Marshall. “Definitely a very different situation than we were sitting in even a month ago, as a community and the hospital.”
As of Sept. 16, out of 10 ICU beds, five are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Two patients, one who tested positive for COVID-19, are on ventilators. In total, 16 people with the virus are in hospital. Thirteen are not fully vaccinated, while three people are.
Marshall said she is urging people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so.
“It is my plea to the community,” said Marshall. “It is the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and others. Recognizing that there are some individuals who cannot be vaccinated, is the best thing we can do overall.”
Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, said too many people still believe lies about the vaccine. He added hospitals are feeling the consequences of myths and misinformation being passed around.
He said his frustration on a scale of one to 10 is “up in the thousands.”
“I’ve been warning people that (the full ICU) was going to happen because of Delta for many weeks now,” said Colby. “And here we are. It’s imperative that people put aside these myths that the vaccine is untested, myths that the vaccine is unsafe, and myths that it is ineffective.
While the hospital is not currently making any surgical cancellations, Marshall added she could not predict any further into the future.
“We’ve all heard this tune before,” said Marshall. “We are not doing that at this stage, but it is something I am really worried and concerned about, that we may have to go down that road again.”
As of Sept. 16, Chatham-Kent’s total number of active cases sits at 115. The cumulative case total since the pandemic began is 2,269. A total of 74 percent of Chatham-Kent residents aged 12+ have been fully vaccinated, while 75 percent of residents 18+ have received both doses. The age group of residents aged 12-17 remains at 53 percent fully vaccinated.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News