June 3, 2020 at 9:18 PM EDT – Updated June 4 at 10:07 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Businesses are reopening, tourists are coming back to the area’s beaches and people have taken to city streets to demand justice after George Floyd died by the hands of a Minnesota police officer.
“Its the perfect storm, everything hitting at once. Tourist season, people coming from out of state. We are predicting we will see more patients in the hospital. Its just a fact that when we do reopen things, we’re going to expect to see those patients that are exposed for whatever reason. The protests really havent helped, the social unrest, the gatherings of people certainly could spread the virus,” said NHRMC Chief Clinical Officer Dr. West Paul.
New Hanover Count saw seven new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and a total of 52 new cases in the county for the past week.
While the higher case numbers are inevitable with increased testing, the actual percentages of people getting sick are going up as well, according to doctors at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
The hospital says they’re seeing more hospitalizations too. While hospital leaders are concerned about the recent spikes, they say they have the staff, the equipment and the space to handle additional patients.
One message medical professionals want to get out to the public is that now is not the time to be complacent.
“This is a marathon this is not a sprint. Its not a hurricane you’re gonna get over in two to three weeks. I don’t like the term but it’s a ‘new normal’ for the hospital system. Even our own employees,” said NHRMC Chief Clinical Officer Dr. West Paul. “As people go into a more normal way of life they are going to get a little bit more complacent but the risk of spread is still there. That did not go away.”
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