Health experts worry COVID death tolls pose threat to summer plans

Health experts worry COVID death tolls pose threat to summer plans
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:51 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Flags were lowered to half-staff as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 rose to 1 million.

Eastern North Carolinians reflected on how the virus has impacted their lives

“My uncle did have to get hospitalized. He ended up getting pneumonia as a result of having COVID. Unfortunately, at the same time his wife, my aunt was also in there and she had COVID. COVID kept him from being able to see his wife when she passed,” said Jacksonville resident Patrice Magee.

Health experts say the rise in deaths is reigniting the push for testing and treatment.

“What we do see is there is a significant drop in the number of people getting tested after the Omicron wave but that number has significantly started to pick up again so our positive rates are hitting about 20% right now,” said Dr. Arin Piramzadian with StarMed Healthcare.

With summer travel around the corner health experts predict another spike similar to the summer of 2021.

“An estimated 100 million people are going to catch COVID in the next few months The US population is about 360 million so 30% of the country is going to get COVID in the next few months,” said Piramzadian.

Dr. Piramzadian says antibody treatment have significantly increased recently from as many as 15 people a day on average prior to the spread of the BA 2 subvariant, to treating over 50 patients a day on average at various treatment locations.

StarMed Healthcare says they are continuing to provide free COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and monoclonal antibody and pill treatments for both insured and uninsured patients.

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