SwedishAmerican Hospital surgeon, chief talks COVID-19 resurgence

Dr. James Cole says this resurgence is worse than what the community experienced so far in the pandemic.
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 3:28 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “The total number of COVID cases in the community has exploded," said SwedishAmerican Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. James Cole.

Experts say with that explosion, comes the fallout in the Rockford region as they see a shortage of beds and protective gear, and more doctors and staff contracting a virus they try to fight.

“I thought we had it bad during the late April, May peak, we’re twice as bad as we were at that time," said Dr. Cole.

SwedishAmerican Health System Surgeon-in-Chief, James Cole, says local medical staff see about 20 new patients daily who require extended hospitalization, and that’s on top of other patients seeking routine medical care.

“It outstrips our bed space, our staff and our supplies. We are in the process of creating open bay wards in our conference rooms with disaster supplies from the state," Dr. Cole said.

Cole says the resurgence results from poor compliance in the community and the state. With 40 to 50% of people contracting the virus from asymptomatic individuals, no one is safe. Medical experts urge the community to be vigilant and do their part to slow an already worsening second wave.

“We will absolutely overwhelm our system because we’re at the base of saturation right now," said Dr. Cole.

Winnebago County Public Health Administrator, Dr. Sandra Martell, echoes Dr. Cole’s message, calling on the community to wear a mask and social distance.

“I want to come back and say, public, we have to do our part," Dr. Martell said.

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