In what officials describe as a disturbing trend, Trinity Health today reported an upward trend in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Vice President Randy Schwan says hospital admissions have edged upward over the last two months, reaching close to a dozen patients this week. Nearly all were previously unvaccinated. “We’re remaining at Minimum Restrictions, not increasing the level yet although trending upward numbers might well lead to tightening restrictions in the future – we monitor week to week,” Schwan said.
He added, “As we witness this trend, we’re reminded of how essential it is that people get the vaccine. We’re seeing a fair number of people testing positive and others requiring hospitalization and ICU admissions daily, with an average age of under 60. The patients seeking care are younger but notably just as sick.”
While admissions are nowhere near the extreme levels of last year, the new wave of infections is disturbing. “There is no way our community can afford another surge,” Schwan said.
He emphasized that while we all wish the pandemic would be over, it is not, and mitigation measures such as masking, cleaning, and social distancing are still necessary to curb spread of COVID-19 and its variants. “Vaccination is the key,” he added, “Despite what you might read on some social media conversations, vaccines have been proven safe and very effective against the virus and its strains.” Vaccination appointments are available by calling Trinity vaccination hotline at 701-857-2515.
According to the North Dakota Department of Health’s vaccination dashboard, 42.3% of Ward County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We can’t test our way out of the pandemic, but we can vaccinate our way out, so we’re focusing our efforts and resources on that method – urging people to reconsider hesitancy and get vaccinated so we can all get back to normal sooner,” Schwan said.
Schwan also urged people who have tested positive for the virus to call their provider to see if they are candidates for monoclonal antibody therapy. Trinity Health offers the treatment on an outpatient basis for adults and pediatric patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who meet the prescribed criteria. The treatments help reduce the risk of hospitalization and serious complications, and are most beneficial when given as soon as possible after an individual tests positive.