With COVID-19 cases surging, local hospitals urge vaccinations

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 19, 2021

Leaders of regional hospitals sent out a plea to the public, urging them to be vaccinated for COVID-19, as medical facilities are seeing a record number of cases.

In a public letter, shared by the Lawrence County Health Department on its Facebook page, leaders of several hospitals in the region spoke on the crisis.

“With the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, our hospitals, emergency departments, and urgent cares are hitting record numbers,” the letter read. “Many of the patients requiring hospitalization are experiencing a higher degree of illness than we have seen in the past, this is taking a toll on our associates. We are concerned with what the coming weeks will bring, we want to continue to provide the care our patients need, and when and where they need it.”

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The letter states that the situation is a medical issue and not a political one.

“When we look at our patient data, a vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients have not received the COVID vaccine,” it read. “COVID does not discriminate. It impacts all ages, races and sexes. The virus will spread-even to those who are healthy.”

Health officials urged mask usage and vaccinations.

“At times, we are all asked to put others before ourselves. During the pandemic, our call is no different. Using our knowledge of science and compassion to help others, we ask that you act soon,” the letter read. “Help us change the trajectory of COVID-19 for our communities by protecting yourself and your loved ones.”

They said, by following these measures, the spread of the virus can be slowed.

“Our communities have experienced so much loss due to COVID,” the letter read. “As our teams console families who have lost loved ones, we have heard many say,’ we never expected COVID to create such heartache and loss.’

Sadly, this loss has moved some to become vaccinated themselves. Historically our respective county residents have banded together during times of struggle. That’s what we love about the resiliency and grit. Whether it was a fire, tornado, or flood, you have stepped up to support one another in times of crisis. We ask that you do that again.”

The letter was signed by the presidents of Holzer Health System, Southern Ohio Medical Center and others from across southeast Ohio.