Health care leaders work to stem surge


As energetic COVID-19 instances proceed to surge within the valley, healthcare and neighborhood leaders are going to extraordinary lengths to induce residents to get vaccinated, put on masks and take precautions in an effort to stem the tide.

Berlin and Gorham have twice used the E-911 system to do a mass telephone name to eight,000 households, alerting residents of the 2 municipalities to the big variety of optimistic COVID-19 instances and asking individuals to take proactive measures.

Androscoggin Valley Hospital President and CEO Michael Peterson and Coos County Household Well being Providers CEO Ken Gordon have met with the Berlin Metropolis Council and the Gorham choose board to clarify the scenario. Info has been posted on social media and interviews given with media throughout the state.

The all-out offensive comes as optimistic instances of COVID-19 stay on the highest ranges of the pandemic, with 174 energetic instances within the Berlin-Gorham space and 217 energetic instances in Coos County, as reported by the state Friday.

Because the surge strains healthcare amenities and workers, Peterson stated he fears the numbers aren’t happening quickly.

“I feel we’re nonetheless within the early phases,” he stated Friday on the now every day COVID-19 neighborhood Zoom classes.

There have been 9 COVID-19 sufferers at AVH Friday with two within the intensive care unit together with one on a ventilator. Peterson stated the entire critically sick COVID-19 sufferers are unvaccinated.

Final week, the Berlin faculty system had 42 college students and three workers members who examined optimistic for the virus.

For the reason that starting of faculty this fall, Berlin has had a complete of 103 college students and 14 workers check optimistic. The Gorham faculty system final week had six energetic instances.

The present surge has taxed staffing ranges that had been already stretched skinny by two years of the pandemic.

“We’re holding our personal proper now,” Peterson stated, noting the hospital is transferring non-COVID-19 sufferers to different hospitals to make sure workers and area to take care of the surge. The hospital has additionally transferred quite a lot of COVID-19 sufferers who required the next stage of care than AVH might present. Peterson famous that different hospitals are additionally having staffing points and ICU beds are critically low throughout the state.

Peterson stated the hospital is suspending elective surgical procedures and limiting walk-ins to the lab. However he stated the surgical affiliate workplaces are open and seeing sufferers.

Gordon and CCFHS Nursing Supervisor Valarie Hamel stated their company has closed its ready rooms and is transferring to telehealth visits for the following couple of weeks.

Hamel stated CCFHS will proceed to run its testing and vaccine clinics. She stated three individuals had examined optimistic Friday together with a 2-year-old.

Whereas well being officers stated they’ve seen a slight uptick in requests for vaccines, they report the demand is basically for third doses. To date, booster pictures are solely obtainable for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Hamel stated a majority of the vaccines given out right here earlier this 12 months had been the Moderna vaccine and that vaccine has not but been authorized for booster doses. It’s anticipated to be obtainable by the top of the month.

Well being-care officers say the area’s low vaccination fee helps to gas the surge. The federal Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention present simply over half, 56%, of Coos County’s inhabitants is absolutely vaccinated. The determine for the remainder of the state is 62%. With vast neighborhood transmission, the advice is to put on masks in public, social distance, and keep dwelling as a lot as doable to get the outbreak underneath management.

All North Nation Hospitals and CCFHS are requiring workers to be vaccinated with exceptions for authentic medical and spiritual causes. AVH staff should be vaccinated by Oct. 22 and Peterson stated 20 have stated they won’t get vaccinated (about 6% of whole workers).

Well being-care organizations and colleges report the pandemic has stretched workers skinny and personnel are battling stress and fatigue.

CCFHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bonnie de Vries stated it’s powerful to be so lengthy into the pandemic and see a surge like this. There may be competitors for healthcare staff throughout the state and native nurses are receiving calls from touring nursing firms providing giant hourly charges past what native amenities can supply.

Peterson stated additionally it is powerful for workers as a result of they’re often taking good care of sufferers they know.

“These are our relations, our family members, our neighbors, our relations,” agreed Hamel.

De Vries stated she sees individuals keen to deliver their finest selves to work every single day.

“I’ve by no means been prouder of our workers,” stated Peterson. “They’re dedicated to successful this battle.”

These articles are being shared by companions in The Granite State Information Collaborative. For extra data go to