When Mayor Nathan Senn made his first COVID-19 update on March 24, 2020, the Laurens community had no cases, no local deaths, and only 5 deaths in South Carolina. Today there are 5,139.
He asked then that everyone do all that we could to flatten the curve and everyone did that for a time.
“What everyone feared would happen was that we would overwhelm the resources of our healthcare system,” he said.
“What we feared has now happened.”
All Prisma hospitals in the Upstate, including Laurens Hospital is at capacity. The third floor has been converted for COVID patients, including 29 additional beds. It is still not enough beds to meet the needs. More stretchers have been ordered. Hospital officials are exploring other facilities to house patients.
The critical care unit is full and overflowing and those patients are having to be put in other facilities when and if they become available.
Community family medicine doctors and nurses are being called up to help treat those in need.
“We are now, or we will very soon be at the point our hospital physicians will have to prioritize patients and determine who will receive treatment and who will not.
"I will relay this message to you as it was relayed to me, people will have delayed care because of the overwhelming situation which could have devastating consequences to your neighbors and you. Now it is time to break the glass. I am sounding the alarm. This is not a drill. We must all take immediate action, aggressive action to stop the spread of infection and allow our healthcare facilities to catch up.
“They are asking the same thing from us they asked from us in March. Wear a mask, wash your hands, distance yourself from others, avoid group gathering.
“We can no longer pretend that the consequences of our actions do not matter. We must all do our part. And my friends, I have hope that we will rise to this challenge and soon victory will be ours.”
Mayor Senn ended the video the same as he did on March 24, “that’s all for now until you hear from me again, stay safe, practice good hygiene and social distancing. Support local businesses and most importantly, love your neighbor. Let’s look out for each other.”
The video can be watched in its entirety at https://youtu.be/xBQwp7GSMNc.