Beaufort Memorial warning about spread of COVID-19

Beaufort Memorial warning about spread of COVID-19

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Beaufort Memorial is teaming up with the mayor of Beaufort to warn residents about the spread of COVID-19 in the city. Beaufort Memorial says their numbers are already increasing at a rapid rate and they are worried if people don’t take precautions they will continue to rise.

Just a few weeks ago Beaufort Memorial said that their overall COVID-19 numbers were going down. Now they say they are getting more positive tests than they ever had at their peak.

Beaufort Memorial is reporting a spike in symptomatic, positive patients.

“We are seeing our percent positive go up at Beaufort Memorial. We were running it just under 10 percent and now we are creeping up to 12, 13 percent in terms of our percent positive,” said Beaufort Memorial CEO Russell Baxley.

In an email to the mayor of Beaufort, Baxley reports the COVID testing tent is being overwhelmed usually by 40 or more people from one business wanting to get tested at times.

"It's definitely out of an abundance of caution."

Baxley says typically once one employee tests positive, a business sends all of its employees to get checked out.

“You get one or two that test positive and are symptomatic. We do contact tracing and the employer and, you’ve seen it in the papers, and in the news, it shuts back down and has all the employees tested.”

Baxley says they are sure one thing can proactively prevent the spread.

“The ability to start to flatten that curve would kick in if everyone would mask.”

Something that Beaufort’s Mayor has been pushing.

“We’ve got to slow it down. We know that masks, social distancing, sanitizing, our tools that work,” said Mayor Billy Keyserling.

Mayor Keyserling believes if you are around other people, you should be wearing a mask.

“People think that they’re not wearing a mask is a constitutional right. I think my wearing a mask is a constitutional responsibility because with all rights, come responsibilities.”

The hospital says most of the patients they are getting in and testing positive are symptomatic. And the telltale sign - a loss of smell and taste.

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