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Vidant takes measures to fight COVID-19 amid high hospitalizations

Note: This article has been updated to include hospital capacity data reported on Monday, Jan. 18. 

Hospitals around the country are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Vidant Beaufort Hospital is no different.

According to federal data compiled in the University of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project, COVID-19 patients at Vidant Beaufort Hospital occupied 46% of the hospital’s inpatient beds — the third-highest percentage among North Carolina counties — and 63% of the ICU beds.  Overall, 95% of the hospital’s inpatient beds and 96% of the adult ICU beds were occupied at that time.

In a statement sent to the Washington Daily News on Monday, Vidant said it has taken extra measures to help fight COVID 19 at its Beaufort County location, such as limiting visitation hours and adding additional bed capacity.

“We have taken these measures to ensure we are able to continue providing care to those we serve, including in our emergency department,” the statement reads. “Importantly, although COVID is a factor affecting capacity, other non-COVID related care is also driving higher numbers of patients at the hospital.”

Washington County, Beaufort County’s neighbor to the north, had 58% of its inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patient, the highest percentage in the state. Rounding out the five highest percentages in the state were Duplin (55%), Person (39.9%) and Columbus (39.2%) counties

“Our care teams are dedicated to providing care to those we serve, but they need the community’s help,” Vidant said. “Our team members are not immune to community spread and we need them to be healthy in order to care for the community. We continue to ask everyone to do their part to help stop the spread: avoid gatherings, wash hands often and wear a mask.”