Aiken Regional seeing rise in COVID-19 cases; ready for the challenge


AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the U.S., hospitals are feeling the impact. Officials at Aiken Regional say they currently have enough supplies for any rise in cases and they expect it to stay that way.

“It’s kind of a roller coaster of activity,” Chief Nursing Officer Bridget Denzik Aiken Regional told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

Denzik is on the front-lines of the coronavirus pandemic at Aiken Regional. “We’ve seen cases increase and then cases decrease. Now we’re back on the rise again,” she added.

While the number of hospitalizations is rising across the country, in Aiken County, she say that they have the resources for any increase. “We expect to have patients that are positive with COVID and we certainly have plans in place to be able to care appropriately for those patients,” she said. “We have no concerns at this point about our PPE. I think we’re doing very well,” she added.

New numbers as of December 1 for the hospital reports 775 cases of COVID-19 in the County. Eighteen of the 775 were receiving care in the hospital and 58 died. NewsChannel 6 learned out of those numbers, there were no pediatric cases. We wanted to know if the bulk of the Coronavirus cases were coming from a certain area.

“I think it’s more diffuse. And really given that COVID is prevalent in the community now, we’re not really able to pinpoint to a specific area,” Denzik added.

While a number of hospitals including Augusta University health delayed elective surgeries to fee up space, Denzik said that wasn’t needed at Aiken Regional. “In the last few months we have not had to delay any surgeries at all. I know some hospitals had to do that, but here in South Carolina, we’re seeing certainly the trend to go back up again. So that may be in the future, but, over the last, most recent six, eight weeks, we’ve not felt any impact there.”

Officials believe necessary hospitalizations are taking place, but people are also trying to stay clear of the emergency room. “If someone’s having chest pain or stroke-like symptoms, please do not avoid the emergency room, seek emergency medical care because that’s what’s in the patient’s best interest,” she added.

Officials say it’s too soon to tell if we will see a COVID-19 surge in Aiken County following Thanksgiving. It typically takes 10 to 14 days following the gatherings.

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