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Concerns grow at hospitals as COVID-19 cases continue to spike

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 5:30 PM EST
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina once again set records on Friday for its number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, and the rising rates have Eastern Carolina hospitals concerned.

CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern saw a week with some of the highest totals of COVID-19 patients, and doctors worry that’s still not the full scope of what they could see following the holidays.

“We’re certainly seeing some impacts from the Christmas holidays right now, no question about it, but often the full impact isn’t seen for three to six weeks, so we’re really not quite there yet,” explained Dr. Ron May, Vice President of Medical Affairs for the hospital.

The extra coronavirus patients have forced the hospital to open up a fourth COVID-19 wing at the hospital. Nurses say the additional patients have left them feeling exhausted but say it’s part of what they do and that they are glad they can be there for their patients.

Chief Nursing Officer Jim Davis says, “They are going in every day and doing what they do, and coming home and dealing with whatever they have to at home and then going back and doing it again. you know nursing is a calling for those of us that do it, it does get tiring, and it’s very difficult sometimes, but in the end, it’s also rewarding.”

Health care officials say that while they fight the virus on the frontlines, they need the community to do their part by washing their hands, wearing their masks, and by staying socially distanced.

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