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Hampton Regional seeing rise in COVID patients

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The pandemic has hit communities of all types and sizes. Hampton County, S.C. is no exception.

“We did the best we could, teamwork got us through most of everything. If we didn’t have each other, we wouldn’t have made it,” Hannah Welch, a registered nurse at Hampton Regional Medical Center, said.

Staff at Hampton Regional Medical Center leaned on each other to get through the peak of the pandemic one year ago. But they had patients leaning on them as well.

“Being there for them was the most hard part cause, I mean, we were their family, we were their nurse, we were their guidance through it, we were the only people they saw,” Welch said.

Welch had to balance the well-being of her patients and herself.

“You have to protect yourself in order to protect these people so honestly you just got to protect yourself but in a sense push forward,” she said.

After months of pushing through, finally these rooms were empty, and the hospital was able to close their COVID unit.

“It was a mental break on top of physical,” Welch said.

But that break wouldn’t last very long.

“We were getting really excited last month in June and percentage positive was only 2.5. I was very happy, breathing a sigh of relief, phew, I think it’s getting better. And then this month has kind of blown back up,” Hampton Regional Infection Preventionist Kimberly Sullivan said.

Sullivan says now, just a few weeks later, the rate of any hospital patient testing positive has grown from under 3 percent to nearly 20. Which has her worried for not just now, but a few months in the future as well.

“I’m a little concerned that we’ll see high numbers again this fall and winter like when flu season rolls around, but I’m optimistic that hopefully more people will get vaccinated and we will see the numbers go back down like they were trending down,” Sullivan said.

People also said that two weeks ago, there were no COVID inpatients. But since, the average has risen to 25 percent of the hospital’s capacity.

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