‘We need everyone to do as much as they can’: Piedmont hospitals overwhelmed with patients seeking COVID treatment

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Health leaders in the Triad are expecting COVID hospitalizations to break records by the end of the month.

“This is a very stressful time over the next few weeks,” said Dr. Cynthia Snider, medical director for infection prevention at Cone Health. “We are in the midst of finalizing plans of anticipating close to 300 or 350.”

At the peak in January of 2021, Cone Health saw 287 people hospitalized for COVID. The 300 to 350 mark would break pandemic records.

“We’re hospitalizing I think 20 new patients every day, but this only represents a small portion of all the new cases we’re finding in our health system,” Snider said.

This time around, more vaccinated people are being admitted.

“In the past, it was a 90% to 10% unvaccinated to vaccinated. Now it’s closer to 70% to 30%,” Snider said.

Doctors are also seeing more people come in for unrelated issues and then test positive for COVID.

The growing number of people in beds and the shrinking number of staff is getting overwhelming. This is why Snider believes a booster shot is so important.

“We are definitely taking the strategy of all hands on deck. We need everyone to do as much as they can in helping us meet the needs of the community,” Snider said.

Cone Health delayed some elective surgeries and started moving health care workers from other units to areas facing staffing shortages. Emergency room beds are also causing a crunch.

“A lot of people showed up in our emergency room and our urgent cares who were frightened. They wanted to know if their symptoms were consistent with COVID,” Snider said.

As daily case counts in North Carolina soar to over 20,000 each day, Snider thinks it’s a grim reminder we aren’t out of the woods yet.

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