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FCH board receives COVID-19 update

Faith Community Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Robert Cooper gave board members an update on the recent surge of COVID-19 cases throughout the area during the regular meeting Monday, Sept. 27.

Cooper said last month the facility had to cancel surgeries because the ICU was full and operating rooms were being used for ICU patients. United Regional Medical Center was unable to accept transfers for more than a month.

Physicians were stressed with nowhere to put COVID-19 patients, some which ultimately passed away. Teamwork kept things operational at the hospital despite a staff shortage. As fast as the spike hit, the coming down off the curve was equally fast, Cooper explained.

Cooper said 100% of patients admitted during the recent spike were unvaccinated. Others were kept out of the hospital using Regeneron, a monoclonal antibody treatment. Of those 150 who received an infusion of the treatment, 10 had been previously vaccinated.

The treatment, by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., was given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2020. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the antibody treatment is used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 cases in patients over 12-years-old, including those 65-years-old or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions, who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.

Cooper said a grass roots education effect on vaccination needs to be done. The county has not ordered a mandatory vaccination as of yet as the hospital is waiting for an executive order. Several people have come by the hospital looking for a vaccination after the recent spike.

Cooper is also asking residents to get a flu shot, as this season is expected to be rough. Having a flu shot done by the end of October will keep recipients from either getting the flu or ease the symptoms.

Cooper also discussed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. He said most of the vaccines given in the county were the Moderna COVID-19 two-dose vaccine, which does not yet have a booster. Some shots which were sponsored through City Drug were Pfizer and a booster could be offered to those who received a vaccine there.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 6 edition of theĀ Jacksboro Herald-Gazette.

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