Onslow County's Hospital Runs Near Capacity as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Aug 20, 2021

Onslow County has had six deaths and over 1,400 new COVID-19 cases since last Thursday. Onslow Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 cases have increased significantly in the last two weeks. As the only community hospital in the county, Onslow Memorial struggles to meet demands as they continue to run near their capacity. Meredith Radford has more. 

Onslow Memorial Hospital
Credit Onslow Memorial Hospital

" class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Onslow Memorial Hospital had around 40 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday morning. Out of their 12-bed ICU, they had 11 patients, eight of which were COVID-19 positive. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Spencer says Onslow is more prepared than they were last March, but they have been near their capacity, which is in the low one hundreds, for around a week now. 

“All of our regional partners in the other counties are having the same issue so all the other health systems, so there is no transferring them to another system because those systems aren’t taking those patients, they’re full as well. And so, it’s our responsibility to make sure we continue to maintain our services here at Onslow.” 

Spencer says most of their COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. He says nurses have had to take on additional shifts as some have gotten COVID-19 or been exposed to it. Staff are not required to be vaccinated at Onslow Memorial at this time, although Spencer says they are aggressively recommending it. For Public Radio East, I’m Meredith Radford.