The United States and the State of Alabama saw all-time highs for COVID-19 cases this past week, but the increases do not yet reflect expected increases resulting from Thanksgiving weekend exposures. Experts said before the holiday that Thanksgiving infections are unlikely to be clearly visible in official case data until at least the second week in December given what is known about the virus's progression and delays in reporting systems. The news is not encouraging.
The U.S. reported 210,161 new COVID-19 cases Dec. 3. As we celebrated Pearl Harbor day this week on December 7, we remember those 2400 United States personnel that was lost that day. Consider this however, with our current COVID-19 rise, we have already lost over 280,000 US citizens to this dreaded virus.
Experts are also expressing concern about the timing of the expected increase in post-Thanksgiving infections. They state that we will likely see more of a surge as you get two and three weeks past the Thanksgiving holiday. Then of course the concern becomes the Christmas Holiday and all the travel, shopping and congregating that occurs.
Hospitalizations also reached an all-time high this past week at a state and national level. Locally, Troy Regional has also seen a rise in COVID-19 admissions, and more concerning is the acuity of those admitted. At TRMC, we continually adjust our processes to be certain we are doing everything possible to keep our team, patients, and community safe. To do so, we find it necessary to once again modify our visitation policy. Effective Wednesday, December 9, NO visitors will be allowed except in cases of end of life or other extenuating circumstances and only with approval from our Admin team. We regret having to make this change, but we feel it is the responsible response based on the rise of cases locally in the Troy community.
As the Christmas holiday approaches, please be mindful of your surroundings and do the responsible thing. Wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask. Too many people around us are paying the price for irresponsible behavior.
Rick E. Smith, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Troy Regional Medical Center