Fayetteville doctor calling for more COVID restrictions as hospitalizations rise

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Fayetteville doctor says he thinks more COVID restrictions are needed as the hospital deals with the highest number of COVID patients they’ve ever treated.

There are at least 430 new COVID cases within the last three days in Cumberland County.   

Dr. Sam Fleishman says there are at least 87 COVID patients being treated in two isolation units at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

“Our ED volumes are very high and we want to encourage anybody who doesn’t need to come to the emergency department, not to come at this time,” Fleishman said.

50 hospital beds are closed due to staffing shortages, and COVID patients are in the hospital nearly twice as long as other patients.

“They may stay in the hospital 10, 15, 20 days to recover from COVID because they get very sick,” Fleishman said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Cumberland County Board of Health members discussed what more can be done to help stop the rise in cases.

“I think really we need a stay at home order at this point, and a mask mandate would both be good steps in the right direction,” Fleishman said. “We really do need a tremendous community response right now, and a statewide response.”

City of Fayetteville officials say they are not considering additional COVID restrictions as of right now, adding that the county is the lead for all health functions.

Chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Charles Evans says he supports a stay at home order, but says at this point commissioners will not be considering that at Monday’s meeting.

Evans encourages people to continue social distancing and wearing masks.

Fleishman says the good news is they have started vaccinations this week at the hospital.  

“We are very positive about our future,” Fleishman said. “We just have to get past the next 90 days and then things are going to be really on the upswing.” 

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