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Tidelands Health ‘inundated’ with surge of COVID cases, National Guard called on to assist

The South Carolina National Guard is being called on to assist Tidelands Health as COVID-19...
The South Carolina National Guard is being called on to assist Tidelands Health as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.(Source: Tidelands Health)
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:23 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina National Guard is being called on to assist Tidelands Health as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“Tidelands Health emergency departments are experiencing unprecedented demand amid the ongoing COVID-19 surge, prompting the health system to implement a multifaceted strategy to handle the influx while advising of extended wait times for patients who come to the ER with non-emergent needs,” a press release from the hospital system stated.

Officials say about a dozen National Guard members will help in the emergency departments and may also provide support for the health system’s monoclonal antibody and temporary respiratory clinics.

Dawn Bryant, Tidelands Health spokesperson, said a specific date for their arrival has yet to be determined.

According to the release, the two Tidelands Health emergency rooms have been “inundated with a surge of patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms” while continuing to care for patients will other illnesses and injuries.

Both Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital are operating at more than 100% capacity.

Officials say at one point this week, the Tidelands Waccamaw emergency department was holding 22 admitted patients, including nine critical-care patients, because there were no beds available.

“As we have throughout this pandemic, our team continues to rise to the challenge and serve our patients with care and compassion,” said Ashley Capps, vice president of nursing and operations at Tidelands Health. “But we are asking our community to help us help you. Please get vaccinated, and please wear a mask to protect your health. If you do need medical care for any reason, please don’t wait. In an emergency, dial 911 or come to the closest emergency department. If you don’t require emergency care, please consider seeking treatment via one of our many non-emergency options.”

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