‘This is not fiction’: Greenville health professionals plea for folks to social distance
we welcome everyone. Teoh this regular news conference we hold to try to get the facts out about the krona viruses impact here in Greenville. Um, as it’s been said throughout this sequencing of these news conferences, I guess we’ve had about seven, um, or something like that with some of the local experts. This is to try to break break away, if you will, from the national news story that you see on television all the time about what’s happening in New York or Texas, wherever else and try to localize it. Try to let people have a chance to see what’s happening in there back in their neighborhood in Greenville, South Carolina. That’s that’s why we’re here to hear the facts. We also do have a representative from Deac for the state perspective. While we have the state news we’ve found over the past several weeks that sometimes the state news and local news is not exactly the same on this. So this will be an interesting discussion to found it more about what’s happening in South Carolina and comparing to trash that what’s happening in the Greenville area. I want to mention upfront just in terms of City is a lot going on in the news right now. This country is going through a lot, and people are expressing their views very, very passionately with George Floyd’s murder. And so the lot going on and people come into the streets and protest it. But we also have this issue to deal with, and some people have asked, Well, where is the local government been or where is it? Where’s the hospital system been for last two weeks? In terms of these numbers we’re hearing and truth ISS, it’s hard to get a message out. There’s a lot going on out there. A lot of people want things to put people’s attention on, so we decided very intentionally not to do anything Last week. We thought we’d wait a while, and that’s what we’re here today. We’re gonna try to get some messaging out. It’s not that we haven’t been on it. We have been on it. We know people are are not social distancing as they should. I am guilty myself of not social distancing as I should. That’s a very prevalent situation. It is not unique to Greenville. My goodness, if you go to Columbia, Charleston, or Chattanooga, Houston, Texas. You’ll find the same thing. I don’t think we’re unique, but we’re all guilty of this. So we need to be reminded again how important this is. And I think we need to be reminded that the steps to be taken at this point especially compared to what we had to do in the last several months the steps to be taken going forward are really an easy ask an easy ask. And I think that our physician friends will talk about that. It’s still back to washing hands, for goodness sakes. It’s back to social distancing, being mindful of social distancing and get a lot going on. And we’re going to try again to remind people in the coming days and weeks in downtown Greenville and everywhere in Greenville how important it is. We’re gonna keep reminding. We’ll talk a little bit about about that. I think that was the best. I have these comments on the screen. I put some comments on just a background on. I’m getting a lot of emails. I’m sure all elected officials are. I can only imagine how many of the governor gets. We have ah represented county Council here, Mr Ennis Fanning’s. I’m sure you get a lot, too, some people with different views, but overwhelmingly, we get a lot of the comments like this. Thank you for being so concerned about our numbers. So concerned about numbers whose have spiked for Corona virus. So many people, so many people refuse to social distance, and many say they don’t want to wear a mask. I’m disappointed in people’s concerns for others. I know in my heart that we reopened too soon, and then I had messages by the truckload like this. Uh, these are actual emails. We would like to add our voices to those of other citizens expressing concern over the general lack of facemask and social distancing in downtown Greenville. Again, it would really be everywhere. The situation is particularly concerning, and possibly a cause for the designation of Greenville County is a hot spot will suffice to say, we all know this is the case. We all know that people have really gotten lax about social distancing, and again what’s being asked is just not that great. It’s just not that great in the scheme of things, because we don’t want to go back to where we were earlier. So we’ll have some opportunity again, Teoh a little bit more about that. We also. But first we’re gonna talk about the facts, kind of where we are. This is not a moment to scare people, but it sure is a matter to get people’s attention. And that’s really why we’re here. So up first will be Dr Brandon Traxler, who we see a lot these days on television and such. We appreciate your good work from Dehecq, and she’ll be followed by representative the Prisma Bon Secours, the county emergency Management Office, county councilman in his fans and the Hispanic Alliance. So, Brennan. Thank you, mayor. So today, Dehecq is announcing 687 new cases of Corona virus, the novel Corona virus and 13 additional deaths statewide. This brings the number of cases cumulative to date to 16,441 and the number of deaths to 588 in the state and Green Bowls specifically were reporting on 125 new cases today for the county. Yesterday’s 145 reported cases for Greenville County was the highest number of new cases for a day for a county in a day in South Carolina. Since this pandemic began with today’s new cases, the total number of cases in Greenville County comes to 2492. And with today’s two reported deaths from Greenville, there have been 67 deaths in Greenville County. To put these numbers in perspective, Greenville County currently has a higher case count and a higher rate of cases by population size than the entire state of Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming or Montana. And so, for the past two weeks, we’ve seen some of the highest daily numbers of cases since the start of all of this. There has also been a recent increase in the last couple of weeks, in particular in the percent positive data and in hospitalizations due to Cove in 19 are increased. Testing data has allowed us to better identify hot spots in the state, which recently does include Greenville County. Greenbow County, Lhasa said, has seen some of the highest daily counts for any county in the state in the last week and 1/2 in particular we identify a hot spotlight. Greenville. We work even harder to to analyze that confidential information that we gather by phone our epidemiologists and contact tracers to help determine factors that could be contributing to the increased spread. But for here in Greenville, we have determined that for the last couple of weeks, roughly 1/3 or just over 1/3 of the cases, have self identified their ethnicity as Hispanic. So we immediately began targeting some of our outreach efforts to these communities. Two included interviews on local Latino radio stations and then redistributing our Spanish translated information and resource is to those areas. We continue to increase Cove in 19 testing availability and Greenville ah, in coordination with and with much thanks to local hospitals and health care facilities as well as the county and city governments. And we continue to work with all of our community partners in the area to we also need everyone’s help in reemphasizing how critical it is for all of us every day, toe wear a mask in public and stay physically distant from others. Those two precautions masking and social distancing, or how we stop the spread of this virus. Earlier this week, Dehecq issued a joint statement with the South Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Medical Association in the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, reiterating just how vitally important it is for all South Carolinians to adhere to these key prevention methods. We’re all eager to return to our normal lives prior to the pandemic, but it will take us that much longer to get there if we don’t stop the virus soon. It doesn’t take hard data to to observe that many people across the state, as the mayor said, are not following the recommendations. They’re not physically staying apart from each other. They’re still getting together in groups and gatherings, and they’re not wearing the masks in public. We need all South Carolinians to take these precautions every day to not just protect ourselves, but to protect others that could become severely ill or even die if they were to contract the virus. It’s important to follow the advice of the health professionals if they direct you toe isolate or quarantine. This also helps protect the people you love around you. You may not know somebody has been severely affected by this disease so far, but if we don’t stop the spread of it or slow the spread of it. Unfortunately, you most likely will Is a resident of Greenville my entire life. I appreciate everything that our local leaders are doing to get this important messaging out our community. I appreciate their support of dehecq a swell as all of the local hospitals. I appreciate the work that all of the doctors and nurses and other health care professionals are doing on the front lines. But working together, we can turn the tide on this pandemic and save lives in South Carolina. Thank you. And with that I will turn it over to Dr Wendell James, the chief clinical officer for a Prisma health. Good afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with everyone today, and I probably will not be able to do it. Nears eloquently is Dr Tracks for has done as the chief clinical officer Prisma helped upstate. I have the fortunate or misfortunate privilege of being the incident commander for the Upstate Incident Command that has dealt with this Kobe crisis since the beginning. We actually stood up our incident command well before the first patient appeared into in the state because we saw this coming. One of the reasons we did that was to make sure that we can always provide the capacity to the community that the community would need if this became a problem. We have done that successfully up to this point, and we continue to try and maintain that capacity and ability to provide care to all members of the community and we’re moving forward. That said, the community is a partner in this. We absolutely must have the community worked with all of our facilities in all of our facilities of our partners at ST Francis. If we do not do that, we could literally overwhelm our ability to take care of patients. Right now, we have significant capacity in the system and we have built that capacity to take care of covert patients in non Kobe patients, our desires to be able to continue to provide normal operations for those that are in need of all medical care. Once again, the caveat to that is communication and cooperation from the community and following guidelines issue. But see the CDC and Dehecq. We all know that we’re not doing that. I failed at it. The mayor’s failed at it. Everyone in this room’s failed at it were fiercely independent. Population in Greenville County is even more so, which is a good thing. But we have to work together his community and pulled together and follow these guidelines and minimize the spread of this disease amongst our members of the community. If you’re fortunate enough to have an elderly parent or grandparent, you need to look at it from the perspective of what do we do for them? I make a absolute effort to keep my mother from being exposed to this, if possible, And to do that, I need to make sure I’m not exposed to it. So what we’re asking here today because this is a very real problem is follow the guidelines. Wash your hands social distance. If you’re sick, stay home. Believe what you’re being told by the CDC in de Hoek. This is not fiction. We’re not here trying to tell you something that is not true. We absolutely believe that this is going to be something we can manage through, but we have to do. It is partners. Medical facilities. Dehecq and CDC are asking for the population in Greenville County area pop partner with us, and let’s work through this together. We need to open up our businesses. We need to open up our community. But we cannot do that. The same is business as usual of the past. We just can’t go back to doing it the way we used to for the near future. For the at least intermediate future, we’re going to have to be careful so social distancing, washing your hands, cleaning hot touch surfaces, paying attention to what is around you and the people around you. If you’re sick, please stay home followed what we’re asking you to do, and we will be able to work through this and opened up our community at the same time. That said, the other part of this is we still have people with illnesses in the community, there in the community, they’re not cove it. It is just as important that they received the care that they need and without us working together, our capacity to do that but could become limited. Right now, we’re more than capable of taking care of the code patients and those that have chronic illness. My concern and the concern of every medical person in this room, is those in the community with chronic illness or not seeking care. It is absolutely imperative that if you have existing chronic disease, you continue to see your physician and continue to get the care that you need. We have measures in place to ensure your safety, and we have the absolute ability to do that. So please, as a community, let’s work together. Let’s follow the instructions were receiving from some very, very good organizations and Dehecq and CDC. And let’s work together and take care of this problem control spread of this disease and ah, beg the people in the community that have chronic problems Do not be afraid to come in and be taken care of by your physician or the facility of your choice. It is imperative that you do that we’re already seeing not just a spike and Covad. It is faster and higher than we have seen. We’re also seeing a significant spike in those with chronic illnesses because righteously so, you’ve been afraid become health care. There is no need to be afraid of that. We will take Justus good care of you as we always have. What all of these medical facilities in our community do is we take care of illness. We planned for these types of problems and we’re prepared to continue to be able to provide you your your regular care in addition to taking care of illnesses like flu Cove it and whatever else comes down the pike. But we do need all of you to work together with us to help make sure we can manage the volume and control the spread of this illness. Thank you, everyone. Good afternoon. Eric Osman, the chief of preparedness and emergency physician at Prisma. So just to just talk a little bit about our testing, Prisma to date has done around 32,000 tests in the community, both in the hospital, in community settings and through the drive up areas that we’ve set up. And out of those tests we’ve had around 9.4% positive. So and is Dr James. Dr Traxler said over the last 1 to 2 weeks, we’ve seen an increase in that positivity rate, which lets us know that the number of cases in the community are increasing. So So not only were we doing more tests for the number of cases air increasing, so I wanna make you aware of some of the testing capabilities here. Certainly this week here at the convention center, testing is available to the community. It’s a great place to drive up very quickly. Get tested 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have four dates coming up in Thea upstate. We have one on Saturday with the June 13th Duncan Chappell. We have another one on Thursday, June 18th at the Fountain in Elementary. We have an additional one Thursday, June 25th at Alexander Elementary and the final one Saturday, June 27th Woodmont Middle School and we will be scheduling additional dates into July. And so I just want encourage folks in a few areas. One, as Dr James said, as a practicing emergency physician working in the emergency department, I can tell you, we’re seeing a lot of people that delayed care in March and April. People with congestive heart failure, people with diabetes, people with coronary artery disease who did not come in, and now we’re seeing some of the consequences of that. So I will say, if you’re sick, seek care at either your primary care provider or at the hospital. You know, we’ve spent a tremendous amount of time making the hospital the primary care practices safe for people to come in in addition to if they have covet. So So we have focused on this from the beginning. Please get care. The second thing I’m gonna tell you is get tested. You know, as a practicing emergency physician, I’m encountering a lot of folks that have pretty minor symptoms that have cove it. You know, you know, there are the key things such as cough and fever and shortness of breath. But then there’s also a lot of minor things like loss of taste, loss of smell, maybe just muscle aches. You know, we have dedicated a tremendous amount of effort, as has ST Francis, as has the government, Greenville County, to make testing widely available over all aspects of the county. Please get tested. If you do not feel well. The other message I just want to reinforce is, you know, the things that we can do to treat the disease in the hospital are pretty impressive. Our specialists have gained a lot of experience of the last couple months taking care of some very, very sick people. But the best thing that could be done for this disease is just to prevent it from happening at all. And I can’t do that on Lee. You can do that by observing the measures. The doctor Traxler is discussed maintaining good hygiene and you know, where does this disease spread? It’s not spreading in the hospital. It’s not spreading in a business environment where people are observing social distancing and wearing masks. You know it’s not spreading in a restaurant where people are observing social distancing and they’re observing all their protocols. You know, it’s spreading in close groups. So 20 people getting together for a party, very dangerous. Um, you know, you know, people being in close proximity to each other, potentially dangerous. So So you know, these are all common sense things. Very important. Keep in mind you don’t finally out clothes. Mayor White asked me to talk a little bit about the personal impact of this. It was a practicing emergency physician. You know, I work in the emergency department here in Greenville Memorial. I worked on Sunday night, and I admitted to people one of them not much older than I am, who were very, very sick with Cove in 19. These were people that were They’re hungry. They’re having difficulty breathing. Both of them went to the I C U. So you know, you know, this is not the flu. This is not a cold. This is a serious disease. People get really, really sick, and we all need to do our part. So with that all close on, headed over to Dr Marcus Blackstone, who’s the chief medical officer at Pontes Course. Thank you. Good afternoon. I’m Dr Marcus Blackstone, Chief clinical officer of Bond Score. ST. Francis. So is Dr James Said our day to day job is chief political officer. Make sure that we take care of the cove in 19 patients, but at the same time that we ran back up or other hospital operations. You know, we’ve been talking about this for weeks now, and, you know, we’ve asked for everybody to personally be accountable and you know, So now we’re in a situation where, if you remember, you know, I bag completed with employers to protect their employees with mask toe to do the right things. They took a pledge. And if you ride around town, you know, the businesses have done their part. You see tape on the floor, You see plexiglass shields. Do you see a lot of things that we didn’t see before? So, you know, it’s our responsibility now to do our part is individuals. And I agree we all We all have failed at this, but we got to do better, because now we’re in the situation. And, you know, you’re gonna get the same thing for me that you just heard from Dr James. Dr. Iceman, from standpoint of our Koven, numbers are going back up at about the same time that we ramped up. You know, our elective surgeries, But the Doctor Osmond’s point, you know, a lot of the patients that were sitting out waiting, Um, we’re just now getting comfortable to come back. That really needed to come back to our facilities. So now that they’ve come back and those numbers have come up, you know, now we’re in another rise, and you can you can go back to around Memorial Day and, you know, count the days and, you know, here we are from that standpoint, but for us to be able to provide, you know, care in both of those environments, you know, it makes it difficult. The last thing we want to do is start restricting elective procedures again from that standpoint. But I’ll echo. The same thing is, if patients have chronic conditions, you know, we’ve been doing this for over three months Now. It’s become our new normal, so it’s not new. We’re used to doing it. We have the same precautions in place around screening around, masking. We still cohort, you know, Kobe patients under investigation or positive. You know, we have the capacity to take care of everybody, but we run the risk of overrun in that capacity if we don’t get this under control. And so you know that’s our plea. Today is health care systems is toe work with us. You know, let us do our job and take care of those who truly need the medical care. And, you know, it was interesting before when we talked about this around the community, we had spots that we would see patients come from, and I agree it’s the spots are gone. It’s widespread. Now, you know it’s in younger populations. You know, the only other thing that you know that I really want to talk about from that standpoint is, you know, we get asked, Is this really? And just to be frank, that’s, Ah, that’s really bothersome, you know, from our seat. It’s Israel as it gets. Nobody’s nobody’s taking numbers out of contacts. Nobody’s making any of this up. It is very real. I mean, we’ve seen how sick these patients are. We’ve got one today. Are we discharged tomorrow for more hospital? Who has been hospitalized for 10 weeks? You know, we got families and, you know, you see the effects on families. You look at the death rate, it is Israel as it gets. And we want people to understand that that it truly Israel and its here. And, you know, we’re at risk of this continuing, you know, if we don’t do our parts so with that, I’ll stop. I’ll turn it over to Jessica. Stunk from Greenville Emergency management. But again, just understand our plea today is work with us. His individuals, social distance, Wash your hands where your mask and the other thing is, Please avoid gatherings. We know everybody’s been housed up. Everybody is wanting to do things, their bodies willing to take their kids places, But that’s actually a lot of where we’re seeing the spread today. Thank you. Thank you, Dr Blackstone. Good afternoon. There are two items that I want to update you on today. The 1st 1 is the community testing site that is here at the Greenville Convention Center and about the resource is that have been requested from our agency. Since March 30th the Upstate Healthcare Coalition, Dehecq, Greenville County Emergency Management and Emergency Response Team, as well as many other agencies and organizations, have been supporting the cove in 19 site at the Greenville Convention Center. At first, the site was for first responders and health care providers. On June 1st, it became a community testing site. From June for March 30th until June 5th, 2323 people have been tested. 287 of those were positive. This week, Prisma joined as a partner at this site. It is open here at the Greenville Convention Center today until 4 p.m. At one exposition drive. It will be open Friday, June 12th from nine AM until 4 p.m. Saturday, June 13th from nine AM until two PM No appointment or physician order is required in terms of resource is that have been requested from our agency. The number of requests have decreased by resource is I’m referring to PPE and cleaning products. As of June 5th, we had received 244 request. Those have been filled. 84% of the resource is that were requested to us. Greenville County Emergency management filled, 10% were fulfilled, fulfilled by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, and 6% were canceled. The top three requesters were fire departments, skilled nursing facilities and other health care facilities. That concludes my report for today and next. I’d like to introduce Dr Fan Greenville County Council District 25. Good afternoon. My name is in this fan, a member of Greenville County Council and represent District 25. Certainly want to. I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation and attention. The attention has been given in recent weeks to the need for social justice and racial equality. Uh, in our nation, however way have to be able to do two things at the same time. We continue. We need to continue to struggle for, to read our nation of inequality and injustice. But at the same time, we cannot leave lose sight of the ravaging effects of covert 19 on our community on our nation, it continues to ripple through our community. The numbers that we have today are the largest we’ve seen even prior to the shutdown. I think the lack of media attention over the past two weeks have allowed some people in our community to believe it’s over with and we can get back to business as usual on. And I’m so appreciative that the mayor in the city have brought us together to reinforce to the community that we are in a very critical point with regard to covert. 19. As I mentioned, um, I represent District 25 which is the Western third Western Carter Greenville County along the White Horse rode Carter. If you look at yesterday’s numbers of by Zip code covert cases, the three highest zip codes in my district UH, 2960 509 cases over the last two weeks to 961 711 cases over the last two weeks and 29611 which is riding along Stonebridge Road out of Saluda River 201 cases in the last 14 days. It is important to note that in that area of Greenville County, 30% of the residents live in poverty. Every school in my district is a title. One school, which meetings more than 50% of the students receive free or reduced lunch is mult. We have multiple families living in single family housing units, where the ability to adequately social distance is virtually impossible. These people work mostly an essential worker slash service segment of the economy. Many of these people have underlying health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, and in many cases these conditions go untreated. Many times. These people are voiceless there unseen, but they are an essential part of our community, and we all have a responsibility to reach out to them, to help them, to encourage them, to understand the importance of wearing mass washing your hands regularly and the practicing of social distancing. This time, we’ll turn it over to Sarah Montero, director publications, Hispanic aligns. When I started this good afternoon, I’ll start with my remarks in English and then we’ll be switching over to Spanish. My name is Sarah Montero on the communication and marketing director for the Hispanic Alliance. In the past month, we have collaborated with multiple community partners to support them with translation and culturally appropriate messaging in Spanish. Because we know that many in the Hispanic community are facing language, access, limitations and struggling to information in a timely manner, reliable information is essential to stay safe and to keep with the changing circumstances. Many we have seen in the news that 30% of her new covert cases are in the Hispanic community. It is imperative that we work together collaboratively to reach this population and to ensure that we can provide the resources needed to keep people in their homes. We encourage our local systems to translate information or continue translating information in Spanish to ensure that everybody is receiving reliable recommendations. The Hispanic alliance is already working with local systems to find solutions, and we welcome the opportunity to serve your organization or your business. Please reach out to us. We have created bilingual pages on our website and comprehensive resources that are we are dating constantly and we will be happy to publish near resources as needed. We have created a page for English speakers to help Spanish speaking, sir, clients or people who they serve, and then another page entirely in Spanish for people to navigate completely Spanish. You can also visit Hispanic Alliance s c dot com Orleans Explanations said dot com, where you will find this information about health, education, legal and financial resources, everything in English in Spanish. If you’re suffering from food and security, we will be working in this community to helping people. If we can support in any way, please call our office at 864 256 c, 0760 When I started, its members said on Monday that the whole bottle in and say spina. In fact, I’m watching pharmacy on Isil Assad my be in e in pharmacy on every test as government in Inglis in Genesis, Panama. So how can we just organise issue honest, literal citizen pharmacy on a legal resident individuals Minister haciendo proportion and Ocasio beaches in Laconia. 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Census examine ISS and, like money have the Koran abuse is the most, But I really don’t think when they say so, CIA to say so or choose things Quiet Toronto sing When they say so. She had to say said on the diplomacy Uranus by noon. But what a memento. Castle of risk. Thank you for those very, very good presentations. We’ll just go right to the questions from the media. We have our experts here, and I just only only thing I want to say in the front end is that we’re here for a serious discussion. We’re not here to speculate when I’m here. Talk about what? What if we should have done or whatever about where we are right now, what we can do. And we got some really good advice, I think from our medical community, in terms of where we go from here as a community with that, um, questions. Yes, a new set of forgetting friends. That’s okay. Introduce yourself, then Got it. Running Wonder Liquid of you wife If News four Councilman You speak about doing two things at once social justice as well as the social distancing. What is your message to the community for guidance on how exactly to do that, sir? And for those who, as you mentioned, it’s very frustrating. There’s a lot of hurt happening, and there’s still a lot of stress from Cove in 19. What’s your message to the community at this time? Fortunately, I am pretty close with all the activists that have been involved in the protest the last few weeks and my message to them every day. I certainly do not discourage the protest however we got. We have to do it responsibly we tell him, encourage everybody to wear masks where gloves and try to space out as much as possible. And if you’re going to walk together, if you’re in a small group, try to stay with that small group and not go to different small groups. J. And the small group that you begin with, I’m an Maxwell with WSB. I’ve got a question for the mayor. Um, are you or City Council considering any more closures going forward with cases rising again? So I get the last part of it. Are you in City council considering any more closures of, you know, indoor dining areas? Partner trail? No. And you know, be, of course, a decision for the state. But I think we heard something. Today is very important and you’re reading this in the literature, too. A Z. We learn about the situation, how how it may spread restaurants and a lot of businesses have opened. We have our own effort here with Greenville. Pledge to make sure people followed protocols that have businesses. We have, ah, good success with many. Doing it doesn’t mean that all are there not what We’re still working the businesses, but basically businesses air doing it. You’re not so likely to have a problem by going to a restaurant, as one of our speakers said as going to a private party. It’s a big enclosed environment with crowds. I mean, we’re learning that now that it’s how it’s done. Uh, so restaurants can be open in front that maybe even one of safer places you could be. If it’s done right, your problems are much more critical if you’re doing the wrong thing in a different place. Thank you. Um, I have another question for you if I may, um, is there a concern among people in the Hispanic community about seeking testing or care for Cove in 19 because of fears about their immigration status? We have definitely heard of the husband a concern particularly earlier on. However, community partners, I think, have done a great job. Praise my with the support of Passos and we have been present of these events to have really ramped up the testing and the Hispanic community. So we’ve seen the numbers grow every weekend, so we’re feeling like that may not be such a concern of the moment, but definitely there could be individuals who are fearful of that. Do you have a message for those individuals? Is that something they should be fearful of? No. Yes, Uh, yes, they should not be fearful of that. I think our community partners, second in Greenville are doing a phenomenal job reaching out and being very sensitive to that. We have Hispanic or Spanish speaking people on each of these sites, and everybody’s trained on exactly what questions to ask and how to reproach community members. Um, somebody mentioned before they ramped up marketing and radio and social media to really let people know that they’re safe and that they can come and get this help. Thank you. I’m Kark Brown with Greenville News. I wanted to ask the medical experts from Prisma and ST Francis if they could provide us with any specific details and hospitalizations what they’re seeing, how many folks A are hospitalized right now, what type of increased they’ve seen over the last couple weeks. I think there’s up a lot of interesting concerned by the public. We know there’s more testing going on one thing, so repeat the question so I could take it. What are we seeing in terms of trends and hospitalizations. I think I spoke to Dr Osman last week and he said they had been a slight increase over the past week or sell wanted out. That’s still continuing. So I mean, how many Kobe patients are you treating here in the upstate? I’d prefer not to give you specific numbers to that because I think that, um, Ronald would run the risk of stepping over a line with respect our patients privacy. What I can tell you is we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of patients that have been admitted to our facilities across both platforms in town, ST Francis and Prisma. And we have seen a significant number of very ill patients out of that percentage of patients that have been admitted. This is a very real problem. I have actually had people ask me, Are we actually seeing real patients? We have seen lots of real patients. We have seen lots of really sick patients, and we have seen people die with this disease. It is not fiction. It is not something made up for political purposes. To my this is really and that’s why we’re here today. Let me follow up with the trend that you’re seeing now, you say that you have playing capacity. How long? If this trend continues, before that might change, that would be hard. It will be hard to estimate what we expect to see happen over the next several months is rolling wave of patients. We’re going to see rises involves We expected to see a rise after we relaxed the restrictions on community and involvement in meetings and businesses. We didn’t expect to see everybody go back to business as usual and what we have not. What we didn’t expect was the rapidity of the rise that we have seen over the last 10 days. The community is in total control of this. Make no mistake. If they will do what we are asking them to do today, this will round off. The curve will come back down to a manageable rate. If they continue to do what they’re doing, it will become not necessarily unmanageable but exceptionally difficult to manage. And that’s all we’re asking. Help us out be our partners. This is something you can control, and you can still have a relatively normal lifestyle. We just cannot congregate in big crowds unprotected in tight spaces. We have got to pay attention, Doctor. You wanna hang up there? I think this minus for you, too. I have a two part question only because of the stories that we’ve been doing here in the local news media. We get a lot of questions from the community, So forgive me if some of these questions sound repetitive. But in the interest of of answering the community’s questions, are there any lingering effects that you and your medical partners have noticed? For those who might have been treated in the hospital for Cove in 19 but have recovered lingering effects due to Cove in 19 and off of that, some people wonder, Does every patient who tests positive for covert 19 be admitted to the hospital? OK, your question first part. We don’t know yet if there’s any lasting permanent effects, we’re not seeing any right now. We are seeing things, disease and certain elderly patients primarily. But in certain people that are much younger, it can have effects kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, and we don’t know how permanent that’s going to be. Those are the ones that get severely ill. Your second question, Um repeated for me. Sure, sure, we have folks asking The question is, Does every patient who tests positive for Cove in 19? Are they admitted to the hospital? Absolutely not. The vast majority of patients, just like with the flu, do not need to be admitted to the hospital Way May treated symptomatically in the E. D or in a physician’s office and send them home to isolate. What is critical here, though, is if you test positive, you need to go home and isolate, and you need to stay home. Take isolation precautions at home so you do not spread it to your family. And what we’re What we are seeing is people that probably are relatively unstamped O Matic, spreading this virus to people who are susceptible to really, really getting sick in. That’s why we have to continue to do what we’re asking people to do in the community. I need to be conscious of washing your hands, social distancing and following what we’re asking you to do. And, sir, if I may follow up just for the community who is watching you mentioned in certain patients? Heart, Kidney. What are those effects? What what are some of those things you are seeing What, What has been impacting their organs? Those who have recovered for Kobe 19. Most of the time when they have recovered from Cove in 19 they will eventually get back to baseline. But it will take some of these people much longer than others. Um, from the standpoint of the people have significant multi organ failure with this disease. Many of those die. So we don’t want that. We want people to avoid this all together. Any other questions for that? Thank you. Okay. Very wander. Fox Carolina News. This question is for the mayor. So it’s been admitted today that Greenville is a hot spot from not only Dehecq, but health officials. We’ve all mentioned the increase of numbers here at the same time, you’re saying you’re not considering enclosures and we see the opening of water parks and other avenues of business. If these numbers continue to rise, what’s the next plan? What can people expect to happen? I mean, you’ve been saying all along, people, please social distance, wash your hands, cover your faces. And yet many in this room admitted today they themselves have not done that. So what’s the next step because you can ask people all day long. But if it’s not followed and numbers rise, is there a plan B in place? Well, that’s a good question for the whole country to add to be asked. I guess we have 20 states. I think it is that I have. Some have a rise in in this, so it’s a question. Everybody will be wrestling. What do you do? It just gets worse and worse. I do think, though, that no, what? We’re what we’re hearing today here and what I’m seeing around the country to is that businesses opening. It wasn’t sense of much opening because again, a lot of the retailers, the restaurants, can do a good job. We just heard that today it might be one of safer places you could be. The problem is the signal that it sends. It’s a signal that people got Oh, everything’s back to normal when it’s not and that’s what we have to kind of stamp out and bringing heightened awareness to again that everything is not back to normal. I don’t think it’s necessarily those particular processes and you have to do things that are practical and really, what? What is enforceable, if you will. And I think they really The plea you heard from medical community kind of goes to the heart of that. You know what? We’re not There’s not a mandate from the hospital system. It’s is asking people to do things that are really relatively simple to do, and people would do that. And that’s really our only hope. That’s the best answer I could give you. Okay, um, Mr Phan Councilman, fan question for you, sir, this question is for you. Because you mentioned that you have been having conversation with different activists in the area. We know as faras media and the community that there are more protests planned, peaceful protests in the area. Is there a message that needs to be sent out? Obviously, you said, you know, people need to social distance as much as possible, but we know how when large groups get together, sometimes that’s not always easy. So is there any other advice recommendations that you can put out for anyone who may be planning any gatherings in the future? Well, the only thing like we said, we said everybody should wear basket and bring them with you. When you come, you need to wear your gloves. You need to social distance. And if you’re going to be in groups, being groups of 10 or less during your marches and do not gravitate from that group, toe another group to try to stay in one group. One of things we’ve been encouraging this week, um, is everybody who’s been out protest. In the last two weeks, we’ve been encouraging to come out here and get the free covert tests. It is imperative you’re going to participate in protests. You certainly have to make sure that you get tested as well. Just don’t protest and go home because you certainly don’t want to, you know, be asymptomatic, but then spread it to your grandmother who lives with you, or even even Children who will get it from time to time. But those are the things way. Encourage them social distance where your gloves don’t get in groups of more than 10 and don’t gravitate from one group to the other and get tested. If you do participate in the protest. Thank you. Last question for Dr Brennan Trexler. This question was asked earlier, but I would just like you to repeat it for those that are tuning in now, watching we talked about the spike in numbers and kind of a trend with time, period as faras, when you’ve seen groups gathering to win cases have maybe spiked or peaked. Would you say that right now the number of cases maybe stemming from a particular time period? Sure. So we first as up going out when we first started seeing really this significant rise, this most significant increase statewide even was in the appropriate timeframe, where it could be related to Memorial Day and Memorial Day gatherings. Takes 2 to 14 days after you’re exposed from the virus to to be sick, to be contagious and so forth. And so on average, it’s about five or six days. And so we really started seeing the rapid increase that at that point almost a week out from Memorial Day, however, you know it has continued, um, and and continues, and we want to slow that. And so I don’t think we can say at this point that it was all related to Memorial Day activities. Thank you. And I just have one more question for the mayor sir, Several weeks ago. Yes, several weeks ago. In fact, several months ago, back when we were holding these in different conference room, I asked about a possible plan for the homeless community or the transient community, and you acknowledge that’s a challenge and you were working on it. Is there a plan in place? Is the city currently still developing a plan? Where do we stand? And what should the community know about the risk for Cove in 19 as it comes to, it was one of her earliest concerns. In fact, the folks who worked with closely on this of the representatives in this room emergency shelters were extended. At that time, we looked at number of sites in town, and I think we worked a partnership in particular with Miracle Hillman, right at that at that time and happy to say they did not find their beds filled up, Aziz rapidly, they feared. So I think that was managed very well. I think where we are now. It’s a very good question, like maybe we can ask them, uh, whether that’s been reactivated, whether there’s a heightened concern about that now. But we did get through that period in pretty good shape. May I ask, sir, just for folks who have been kind of asking me and said, Well, I’ll ask him the duration of time for those Miracle Hill or emergency shelters. When did it ever stop or they continue? I think I read the paper. They had actually gone back to business as usual in in the main facility, as I recall it, me and hold me, too. But I believe that was the case. We expanded it, and I believe I saw a report that they’re going back to kind of business as usual because they’ve been great partners. I don’t want, you know, we had a number of people involved in an effort, but they particularly were a great partner and providing that backup capacity at that time. I know the hope today is that everyone listens to all of your advice and expertise. If for some reason we do see another climb, another spike. What is the plan for the homeless? A transient community for individuals who don’t have a home to shelter in where we have a uh, that that’s a good point. Good matter. A lot of good work was done several, really a month and 1/2 ago and weaken, weaken. Reactivate that plan if we need to. And there’s some backup shelters as well. But that was one of those things where there was a huge amount of concern. But a lot of people came to the table and a lot of good things happened to back up that community. Thank you, sir. Welcome. No other questions. Thank you all for being here. We’ll do this again. What I heard today, we’re two things I heard Be a good neighbor. You know, we didn’t have a lot of questions about the mask issue and kind of surprised. Been a lot of politics in this little mask, but, you know, everybody’s got take a deep breath and say, You know Okay, let’s look at this again. Let’s look at this again because this is the part about being a good neighbor. This is what you do for everybody else. And the second messes I’ve heard today that perhaps I hadn’t heard before. Which big, um, be a good partner with our health care community because what they seem to be saying was that despite goes up here, other people who need to be at the hospital for chronic diseases and for emergency services as well may get squeezed out again, and we don’t want to see that. So we don’t want the hospital system to be in that precarious situation. So be a good partner, as they said over and over again with our health care community, are doctors in our hospitals and be a good neighbor with everyone else, so thank you very much.
‘This is not fiction’: Greenville health professionals plea for folks to social distance
GREENVILLE, S.C. —
Greenville Mayor Knox White and local health officials say they are very concerned about the spike in coronavirus cases, especially in our area.
White held a briefing Thursday with DHEC, Prisma, Bon Secours and Greenville County Emergency Management to offer a public plea for continued social distance, facial covering, hand washing and frequent cleaning.
Below you will find a list of speakers and the highlights from their remarks:
Knox White Mayor, City of Greenville
- White says he is getting a lot of emails about a spike in numbers.
- The emails express the fact that people are not social distancing and not wearing masks.
- He says some people think we opened too soon.
- Knox said he and the speakers were not here to scare people but to get people’s attention.
Dr. Brannon Traxler: Preventative Medicine Physician, DHEC
- There are 687 news cases in South Carolina as of Thursday.
- 13 new deaths in state
- 16,441 total cases in SC
- 588 deaths in state
- Greenville County has 125 new cases as of Thursday.
- Percentage of positive cases and hospitalization have increased as well.
- 1/3 of cases in Greenville County are in the Hispanic community.
- Doing outreach efforts with Hispanic radio.
- Wear a mask and social distance is how we stop the spread.
- People around the state are not following recommendations, Traxler says.
C. Wendell James III, MD: Chief Clinical Officer at Prisma Health – Upstate
- James encourages people to follow CDC recommendations.
- He says you need to do it for your older parents and grandparents.
- “We need to pull together as a community.”
- “This is a very real problem”
- “Wash your hands, social distance, if you are sick stay home.”
- “This is not fiction.”
- “We are going to have to be careful.”
- People with chronic illness are not seeking medical help and they need to.
Dr. Eric Ossmann: Emergency Medicine Physician at Prisma Health – Upstate
- Prisma has done 32,000 tests in the community and hospital.
- In the last one to two weeks there has been an increase in positivity rate.
- They are doing more tests and more tests are coming up positive.
- “Get tested.”
- He said it’s spreading in close groups. He said people getting together for a party is dangerous.
Dr. Marcus Blackstone: Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
- He said businesses have done their part and now it is up to individuals to do their part.
- “It’s widespread now.”
- “People ask ‘Is this real?’ From our seat it’s as real as it gets. It’s very real.”
Jessica Stumpf: Deputy Director, Greenville County Emergency Management
- Number of requests for personal protective equipment and cleaning resources have declined.
Ennis Fant: District 25 Councilman Greenville County
- “We are in a critical point in regards of COVID-19.”
- Fant’s district has highest increase in cases.
- 30% of that area lives in poverty, Fant says.
- Multiple families are living in single family homes in this area.
- Most are essential workers and have underlying issues.
Sara Montero: Director of Communications Hispanic Alliance
- Montero says the community needs to work together to reach the Hispanic population.
- She said the alliance encourages folks to translate everything into Spanish for this community.
Additional coronavirus resources: