COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise as SC hospitals struggle with staffing

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — According to the state health department, there are more than 1100 people in South Carolina hospitalized with COVID-19.

More than 300 of those people are in ICU beds, DHEC said.

John Williams is the Director for Disaster Preparedness at the South Carolina Hospital Association. He said South Carolina hospitals are dealing with what he called a ‘major surge.’

Over the last month, reported COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased across the state. Williams said the majority of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.

A spokeswoman with Lexington Medical Center said 84% of the COVID-19 patients at their facilities are unvaccinated. They are strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Williams said ,”The Delta variant is easier to spread and more severe which is fueling this wave of hospitalizations.”

According to data from DHEC, 177 COVID-19 patients are on ventilators as of Tuesday afternoon.

With hospitalizations rising, Williams said hospitals could face shortages with staffing. He said it’s a nationwide issue.

“We can’t say it enough, how important the staffing component is right now. We are still lacking team members to keep up with the number of hospitalizations at this time,” he said.

He said with this current wave, there are more treatments available against COVID-19 and people have the opportunity to get vaccinated. “We continue to ask the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. We encourage vaccinations and we see the benefits of it,” Williams said.

Since March 2020, DHEC is reporting 24,604 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

To see the latest hospital bed occupancy data from DHEC click or tap here.

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