Please get vaccinated, Carolina Pines CEO urges entire county

Carolina Pines CEO Bill Little. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By Bobby Bryant, Editor

Saying that his Hartsville hospital is “operating near the top of our capacity,” Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center CEO Bill Little has issued a public letter urging Darlington County residents to get COVID vaccinations. “As our COVID-19 situation continues to worsen, I wanted to remind our community that this challenging state we are in is preventable,” he said in the letter sent out Aug. 25. “The Delta variant is making its way through our community, our hospital and the healthcare system in our state at a very fast pace,” Little said. “Like most healthcare facilities in our region, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center is operating near the top of our capacity. And today, I am asking for your help.” Little continued: “South Carolina has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country, with about 42 percent of the population fully vaccinated. And our own community’s 44 percent vaccination rate is barely above the state average. “The number of COVID-19-positive patients we have admitted to the hospital has increased drastically since the beginning of August, and most of these individuals are unvaccinated. We are doing everything we can to manage the rapid increase in patients while also continuing to care for the ongoing, non-COVID-19 healthcare needs of our community. “We know that this situation is avoidable, and with your help, we can put a stop to the spread of COVID-19. First and foremost, getting vaccinated greatly reduces the likelihood of someone contracting the virus, being hospitalized or dying. If you are still unsure about getting vaccinated, please call your primary care provider to talk about the vaccine. More than 95 percent of all physicians are vaccinated because they know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective”, he said. “Each vaccine administered,” Little said, “is a bed saved for someone having a heart attack, stroke or other potentially life-threatening illness.” He also encouraged residents to take other COVID precautions, such as masking, social distancing and hand-washing. “When ALL these measures are performed consistently, they will help lower the transmission rate and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in our community.” “I am asking our community to act now by scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. To schedule a vaccine appointment at Carolina Pines, visit Carolina Pines has gone to an essentially no-visitors policy at its Hartsville facilities.

Author: Stephan Drew

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