Hospital, city leaders issue urgent plea on COVID surge

Covid-19 graphic
Covid-19 graphic(Dakota, Michael | 19 News)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:13 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Hospital and city leaders in the FM metro issued an urgent plea regarding the COVID surge in the region.

Leaders from Essentia, Sanford, Fargo Cass Public Health and metro cities are discussed critical hospital capacities, staffing shortages, treatments and an urgent appeal to use mitigation strategies like the vaccine and masking.

Sanford’s Vice President Dr. Doug Griffin said they’re at an all time peak capacity for the hospital, and even with all of their efforts aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, case numbers are still on the rise.

Essentia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Vette is telling the public not to rely on monoclonal antibody treatments. He said North Dakota received 400 treatments this week and all have been used. He said the state health department will be rationing the treatment on a case-by-case basis.

West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis said the area leaders got together and decided it’s time to call on the public to take action. In a phone conversation after the meeting .. Dardis told Valley News Live the reason he hasn’t issued a city-wide mask mandate is because he said vaccinations are the most effective tool for preventing the spread of the virus.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said the possibility of a mask mandate is not on the table and his biggest concern is getting more people vaccinated. He said the Sept. 24 call to action comes after a rise in pediatric cases, and local hospitals no longer being able to accept transfers.

”This is a cry for help from our health system. Please, Please make our community handle this virus with good fashion, and not overwhelm our nurses, our staff that are taking care of you.” said Mayor Mahoney.

Cass County Commission Chairman Chad Peterson spoke directly to those who are not vaccinated.

”I’m appealing to you directly to put Facebook down and Instagram and Twitter,” said Peterson, “Look at the numbers. I know you are going to be fine if you get COVID and chances are you will be fine if you get COVID. I’m not worried about you, I’ve never been worried about you...I’m worried about the 10, that’s a real number by the way, 10 people that you are going to give it to before you even realize that you’re sick.”

Both Sanford and Essentia officials said their staff is tired and overworked, and say it’s time for the community to step up and take action by getting vaccinated.

You can watch the full COVID-19 public briefing here.

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