Vidant officials say COVID-19 cases are overwhelming ICU


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Vidant Health officials say they are seeing some of the highest COVID-19 case numbers in the hospital since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The capacity fluctuates every day but is currently higher than they’ve seen throughout most of the pandemic. Dr. Dave Harlow, vice president of Allied Services at Vidant Health, said nearly 99% of those with COVID-19 in the ICU are unvaccinated. He also said what worries him the most is that most are younger people.

“The people that are dying and have the highest risk of dying are those that are unvaccinated,” Harlow said. “And they are getting younger, a large portion are in their 40s and 50s, that used to be people in their 70s.”

This news comes after North Carolina’s health department released information that indicated unvaccinated people were more than 15 times likely to die from COVID-19 in the week of Aug. 21. Harlow said he’s concerned about this more contagious delta variant and others that might stem from it.

“In the last month, it is almost 100% delta, there are very few that aren’t delta,” Harlow said. “There is a possibility if the general public does not get vaccinated, if we don’t get herd immunity that the variants might propagate.”

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