We have reached a point in this pandemic where we feel the need to call on the community to double our efforts to fight and beat this virus. The situation today is very serious. The spread of COVID-19 and the high degree of spread in our county has put all of us at risk. It is putting a strain on our medical resources and first responders. Here are a few examples of the reality of this situation:
- In the past month Door County Medical Center (DCMC) has had an entire department out sick at the same time due to Covid
- We have had fire departments and other emergency services throughout the County working with limited staffing due to Covid infections
- We have had Covid infections in five long-term care facilities putting the most vulnerable at risk
- DCMC has been at and above capacity in the last three weeks caring for Covid patients but have been able to effectively care for all patients
- The Covid pandemic is affecting other health care needs as beds and nursing resources are directed to Covid patient care
Our situation is so serious that County Health Officer has issued a first ever Health Advisory and the Door County Board took action on Friday to emphasize what needs to be done to slow this pandemic. This Health Advisory can be found on the County’s website. It advises us to wear a mask, stay at home whenever possible, maintain social distancing, wash our hands, avoid gatherings even with extended family, and avoid large holiday gatherings. As we approach the major holiday season of the year, these steps will be difficult for most of us but we must stop this virus.
So far we have been able to provide quality critical health care and have been able to respond effectively to emergencies. But just like most of us, the strain on our health care and first responder system cannot be maintained for an extended period of time. We must bring this virus under control. And we can do that if we make some sacrifices in the next 4-5 weeks, the key holiday season.
We do believe that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. The promise of vaccines and better Covid treatments are rapidly developing and being deployed. But we cannot lose focus on the need to bring the infection rate down to relieve the strains on health care and to allow us to begin to normalize our activities.
We hope you can and will join us, the County, DCMC, the City and businesses throughout the County that are working to reduce this risk and to bring about a promising and bright future in 2021.
Dave Lienau, County Board Chair
Dave Ward, Sturgeon Bay Mayor
Brian Stephens, Door County Medical Center CEO