BERLIN – As COVID-19 charges within the space proceed to rise, the Berlin Metropolis Council not too long ago mentioned the opportunity of reinstating a masks mandate ordinance.
The town had initially handed a 60-day emergency ordinance in November 2020.
Representatives from Androscoggin Valley Hospital and Coos County Household Well being Providers have been current in the course of the council’s Monday night time work session to replace council members on the rise in COVID-19 instances within the space and to ask the council to provide all potential assist to enhance the scenario. scenario.
Coos County Household Well being Providers Government Director Ken Gordon stated that whereas the variety of COVID-19 instances is declining in the remainder of the nation, Coos County is experiencing the very best price of instances it has ever seen. seen for the reason that begin of the pandemic.
“We’re in the course of all of this within the North Nation,” Gordon stated.
Gordon requested the town council to assist unfold the phrase in regards to the present rise within the virus. He stated Coos County Household Well being is basically struggling to maintain up with the demand. He stated they’ve sick or quarantined employees members and people left are coping with an excessive amount of stress.
Gordon stated the group has seen a rise that started in mid-September and continues. Gordon stated that not like earlier peaks, the place there have been important numbers in space nursing houses and prisons, this improve is community-driven.
In line with one of many charts Gordon supplied in the course of the assembly, the speed of instances per 100,000 residents is greater than two and a half instances the state common. In one other chart displaying the numbers by metropolis, as of Monday there have been 91 present constructive instances in Berlin, 27 in Gorham and 18 in Milan. A median of 36 instances per day have been reported in Coos County, representing a 60 % improve from two weeks in the past.
Androscoggin Valley Hospital CEO Michael Peterson stated he felt the pink alert despatched out final week was acknowledged by group members. Peterson stated the hospital noticed a lower in non-emergencies getting into the hospital with 40 sufferers on Friday and 15 on Saturday.
Peterson stated that with this wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital is taking in sufferers who’re youthful and sicker than earlier waves. He stated that of the entire 25 hospital beds, there have been presently 11 COVID-19 constructive hospitalized sufferers, 82 % of whom (9) weren’t vaccinated.
Peterson stated the hospital additionally presently has eight employees members with COVID-19, of which seven are usually not vaccinated, which is creating extra stress for hospital employees.
As of Monday, Peterson stated the hospital is in pink standing, which implies they can’t take any extra incoming sufferers and wish to switch or unload sufferers to different medical amenities. He stated Monday that the hospital has been in a pink state for half per week and has by no means been in a pink state earlier than.
Peterson stated the hospital is in week 2 of what he known as “the tsunami” and that the employees goes by way of a troublesome and emotionally troublesome time. Peterson famous that for a lot of who are suffering essentially the most extreme results of COVID-19 it’s akin to drowning. He stated seeing so many very sick sufferers has brought about some nurses to visibly cry throughout their shifts.
In response to a query from Council Member Michael Rozek, Peterson stated he believes what Coos County is seeing is the Delta variant of COVID-19, however famous that the state doesn’t present actual data on the variants. He stated he feels that is the delta variant due to how aggressive the virus is, particularly in direction of youthful individuals. Nonetheless, he famous that one of many benefits the hospital has now’s that there are remedies obtainable, akin to monoclonal antibody remedies, that weren’t obtainable initially of the pandemic.
Gordon informed council members this: “We’d like everybody’s assist. We wish to be certain the general public is conscious. We’ll get by way of this and survive. We actually have to be cautious due to our small rural well being system. We do not need an overwhelmed system. “
After the presentation of Gordon and Peterson. Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier advised shopping for a full web page advert in The Berlin Solar to alert individuals to the present danger to the group. Grenier stated a part of the issue is that human habits should change.
“Masks,” stated Grenier. “It isn’t about freedom. If we’re going to be a society with individuals who care about others. “
Grenier stated that what is going on now in Berlin just isn’t the Berlin he grew up in, including that within the Berlin of his youth, individuals got here collectively and helped one another.
“We now have group members who’ve a preventable illness,” he stated.
Erica Hoyt, an AVH employees member, who was allowed to talk in the course of the breakout session, stated that for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic started her work has modified dramatically, including that it’s now extra irritating than pleasing.
Hoyt, who works with testing for individuals who might need COVID-19, stated the hospital is testing between 80 and 100 a day. He stated there have been 104 speedy swab exams on Friday alone, of which 27 have been constructive.
Hoyt stated he did not really feel the group was doing sufficient to coach individuals in regards to the dangers of the virus.
He stated that as a part of his job he has to take telephone calls in regards to the virus and that folks typically do not know what to do in regards to the virus. Hoyt stated she felt the underside line is that residents must be disguised or else the group could be in “a world of ache.”
The council agreed to publish letters within the Berlin Solar and thru the native chamber of commerce asking individuals for assist.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce issued a letter to corporations on behalf of the Berlin Emergency Administration COVID Process Power, which included the next and an replace on the instances at Androscoggin Valley Hospital: 11 sufferers presently in hospital attributable to COVID-19; three in intensive care; two on followers. That was up to date Wednesday to 13 hospitalized sufferers, from three to 5 within the ICU and two on ventilators.
AVH is working to switch any non-COVID emergency sufferers to different hospitals for care, however beds are in brief provide throughout the state.
The letter continues with the next suggestions for corporations and people:
1. Do not go to work in case you have any signs and get examined.
2. Put on a masks indoors in public locations.
three. Keep away from giant teams, particularly indoors.
four. Get vaccinated, COVID-19 and the flu shot.
Whereas councils debated the professionals and cons of a masks mandate, they didn’t instantly reinstate one, preferring to work extra on educating the general public and the enterprise group.
However some council members stated that folks in the neighborhood are usually not taking dangers significantly.
Council member Denise Morgan stated: “There are some mother and father who assume it is a chilly. This isn’t a chilly and it’s not a enjoyable scenario. We wish to train individuals and a few simply will not hear. “