By Anna Phillips | November 6, 2020 at 9:23 PM EST – Updated November 6 at 9:23 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – We’re less than three weeks from the Thanksgiving holiday as we see the largest one-day total of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina.
Health officials fear a snowball effect will send the case count to our highest spike yet as we move beyond Halloween, the election season and into the holidays.
“We’ve been watching this come like a wave on the horizon and it’s not surprising at all. It really comes down to one thing and that is people need to be wearing masks,” said Dr. Philip Brown of NHRMC. “We’ve tended to do a little bit better than the rest of the state… in terms of when we saw our peaks and so we are really seeing high peaks across the state and we just know it’s coming for us.”
Dr. Brown says the number of coronavirus patients remains manageable at roughly 30% percent COVID-19 capacity at NHRMC, but he is critically aware of how fragile that fact is.
“There is a huge amount of concerned about how this COVID-19 pandemic is progressing right now in North Carolina,” he said. “The medical community is united behind the importance of masks as the number one thing but also hand washing. That has slipped a little bit, we believe….it would be nice if we can unite behind something, right, it might as well be uniting behind beating this disease.”
Dr. Brown’s biggest concern is that people will let their guard down in a desperate need to celebrate the holidays normally which could lead to an unmanageable surge in cases. At 50% capacity, the care of other patients with non-critical needs is affected as the hospital will switch operations to manage the increase in COVID-19 patients.
“We really need our community to step up and do these protective measures thoroughly just like we were doing very early on at the start. Our community rallied together, did a great job of controlling the pandemic,” he said. “We need to really, really invite everybody and plead with them to do the same thing because that’s what’s going to make a difference. That’s how we’re going to be able to get through this pandemic together by looking after one another, wearing masks, washing our hands.”
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