Number of COVID-19 patients lower at Goshen Health, but staff still overwhelmed

(Photo supplied/Goshen Health)

While the number of patients on the COVID-19 unit of Goshen Hospital is inching lower, to 39, the positivity rate continues to rise. It’s now at 16.1 percent. Surgeries at the hospital continue to be cancelled when intensive care unit beds and surgical beds are unavailable.

“When we ask our COVID-19 patients where they think they got the virus, most of them say from a grandchild, other family member, friend or coworker.

A large number of them admit they were not wearing masks. That’s why we continue to emphasize this to the community,” said Dr. Dan Nafziger, Goshen Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Infectious Disease Specialist. “On the few occasions where I’ve been in a business over the past number of months, it’s disheartening to see so few people wearing masks. If you find it difficult to breathe in a cloth mask, get the disposable lighter weight paper kind. But wear a covering over your nose and mouth when you are close to anyone you don’t live with.”

Dr. Nafziger added, “In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have an idea of the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings, but it is very worrisome that some of our patients may have important surgery canceled due to lack of space or staff in the hospital. It will be very disappointing when patients need to be transferred out of our region because every hospital is facing large numbers of COVID-19 patients. Promising vaccines are likely to be available on a limited basis soon, but no one can replace the parent or grandparent who dies before the vaccine is widely available.”

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