CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Hospitals in the Charlotte area are full or nearly full because of a rise in COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, doctors from three big hospitals joined together to send a message to try and keep COVID patients from filling up ICUs and emergency rooms.
Doctors say the hospitals are basically just getting by and they fear if we don’t reach herd immunity with more people getting vaccinated that the pandemic could just keep going.
“Beds are scarce, we are running short on resources,” said Dr. Sid Fletcher with Novant Health.
Doctors in the Charlotte area say hospitals are at or near capacity because of a surge in COVID-19 patients.
“The burden of COVID on our healthcare system is being brought by unvaccinated individuals,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti with Atrium Health.
Almost 1,000 COVID patients are in the hospital right now at Atrium, Novant and CaroMont Health hospitals. 92% of those patients are unvaccinated.
126 COVID patients are on life support and 97% of those patients are not vaccinated.
“It’s different today. We’re seeing younger patients, we’re seeing patients who predominantly are not vaccinated, which is heartbreaking for us because this seems to be preventable,” said Dr. Todd Davis of CaroMont Health.
Staffing shortages are a major concern. Hospitals are bringing in traveling teams and outside resources to have enough workers.
“The disappointment comes from our teams that are weary, there’s less staff that are working more hours and they’ve been at this for 18 months,” said Fletcher.
Novant has not put a full-stop on all non-urgent surgeries as they did earlier on in the pandemic.
“That has its own implications to patients that are needing and deserving that care delivery,” said Fletcher.
The hospital is handling each of the non-urgent procedures individually and saying vaccination is the way out of the pandemic. Doctors are urging people to stay safe this upcoming holiday weekend and wear masks, especially in crowded situations.