Public Health Advisory - Finding the Bright Spots

Press Releases

It has felt like challenge after challenge has been served to our community for nearly two straight years. At Meritus Health, I continue to find hope and inspiration from our dedicated teams who still push back against COVID-19.

When COVID-19 first emerged in our community, we all faced more questions than answers and major supply shortages. Remember how hard it was to find toilet paper? Medical supply chain also had major gaps and shortages, but somehow our teams found the way through.

Right now, perhaps a more deadly and concerning shortage exists - Blood. The American Red Cross reports its supply is at dangerously low levels.

Throughout this horrible journey, many of our neighbors have reached out to me, asking how they can help. Right now, donating blood is perhaps the most meaningful way to help your community. Visit to schedule an appointment to give. You will save a life.

While COVID-19 continues to put us all to the test, our teams have improved how we are testing for the virus. From the beginning, we committed to offering easily accessible testing, knowing that quick results are paramount to controlling spread.

We’ve improved traffic patterns and found ways to be more efficient at our drive-thru testing site off Crayton Boulevard. This week, we collected more than 3,000 tests with an average wait time of less than 30 minutes. That is something to be proud of. We expanded our testing hours to include Sundays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. We continue to assess what our community needs and then find the best ways to meet those needs.

We reached another number this week, but not one we’d like to celebrate. On Friday, January 21, our dedicated teams were caring for 99 patients with COVID-19 at the same time in the hospital. That is the highest volume of COVID-19 patients we’ve seen at Meritus Medical Center since the onset of this pandemic. Our teams again absolutely dug in to support the immense need. Please think of how exhausted our employees are and how difficult this continues to be and be vigilant.

We all need a boost! It’s a simple message, but it could save your life and it most definitely will ease the immense strain on resources at your local hospital.

The COVID-19 booster helps to protect your immunity to COVID-19. Over time, protection from your initial vaccine decreases and the booster shot helps to “boost” your immunity to COVID-19, especially as different variants develop. Across the country, people are generally having fewer and milder reactions after their third dose and they will be 92% less likely to experience serious symptoms or need hospital care.

As we continue in a difficult time, it's important to look for the bright spots and offer your help. Consider donating blood. Get a booster vaccine. Wear a mask. Consider telling a health care worker you appreciate them.

Read this information and more in the recently published, "Rate of new COVID-19 cases dropping across Tri-State ..." in The Herald-Mail and online here: