Covid-19 update from Jones Memorial Hospital

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Data on recent hospitalizations, update from JMH Infection Prevention Specialist, Virtual Town Hall planned

Wellsville, NY (December 22, 2021) – The surge of COVID positive inpatients admitted to Jones Memorial Hospital in the past three months has been challenging to the staff and resources at the hospital. Since September 1, Jones Memorial has admitted 187 COVID-positive patients. With the holidays continuing to bring people together, the hospital is again asking everyone to get vaccinated.

The best way to avoid hospitalizations related to COVID is to get vaccinated. According to the most recent statistics, of those 187 people hospitalized, 10-percent have passed away from COVID complications. “The median age of unvaccinated COVID deaths is 74,” explained Jim Helms, CEO at Jones. “Among vaccinated patients, the median age is 90 years old, demonstrating how the vaccine can aid otherwise health patients in the fight against this virus.”

“Since September 2021 we have seen a steady increase in the number of hospitalizations: 33 in September, 46 in October, 56 in November, and, so far, 52 in December,” said Connor Rittwage, Infection Prevention specialist at Jones Memorial. “Deaths have also increased over this same time frame with three in September, four in October, five in November and six so far in December.”

It is important to note that these deaths do not include patients who had COVID and were admitted weeks later because of complications of their initial disease. “This is concerning given the low vaccination rates in our county and the communities we serve,” Mr. Rittwage added. “The facts are that the majority of the COVID-19 burden at Jones Memorial is among the unvaccinated both in hospitalization (71-percent) and deaths (74-percent), again demonstrating how the vaccine aids in keeping patients out of the hospital.”

Not everyone who is admitted to Jones Memorial is a COVID patient. People come to the hospital for treatment of all kinds of other conditions: heart attacks, strokes, broken bones and having a baby are all good examples of people who need to come to the hospital. “If you need treatment for an emergency situation, do not hesitate to come to the hospital,” said Mr. Helms. “Our goal is to be able to treat our community locally, but our staff needs your help to be able to accomplish this.”

The bottom-line message from the hospital to the community is wear a mask in public places and more importantly get vaccinated or get your booster. “With the unknowns that come with COVID and with flu season upon us, the best way to support your community hospital – and the family, friends, and neighbors who work here – is to get your vaccines – both COVID and influenza,” added Mr. Helms, noting that Jones is seeing patients and hospitalization for flu unlike last year – which was virtually none.

If you have questions about the vaccines, please talk to your local health care provider. “The best place to get information about the vaccines is from your primary care provider,” Mr. Helms added. “This is someone you trust with your health and this is the time to trust them again.  If you need help reaching a provider to ask questions please reach out the hospital at (585) 596-4050 and we will put you in contact with someone to answer your questions.”

To further help the community, Jones Memorial will be hosting a Live COVID Town Hall Question and Answer session in mid-January. Questions must be submitted in advance. “We will be answering the questions that are submitted during the Live Town Hall, but we will not be taking questions live,” said Judy Burt, Community Relations Coordinator. If you have questions, please send an email to [email protected] by January 10.

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