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TC Public Health And Adventist Health Put Out Joint Statement

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Sonora, CA — Adventist Health Sonora and the Tuolumne County Public Health Department are urging the community to “band together” to stop the current COVID-19 surge.

They collectively put out a joint statement calling for locals to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Adventist Health Sonora President, Michelle Fuentes, says, “When our neighbors are hurting, we step in to help. Our community is hurting because of the current surge, and we need all hands on deck to fight this.”

The hospital reports that over the last several weeks, daily cases in the community have risen sharply, and the Emergency Department has seen unprecedented numbers of patients each day. The total number of admitted patients has also been high, leaving few beds available for patients with emergent medical needs. Given limited space and the high number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital, elective inpatient surgeries are on hold until capacity improves.

“Exhaustion is an understatement at this point,” says Dr. Philip Clarkson of Adventist Health Sonora. “We’re trained to provide services, care for patients, and in some cases, save lives. We’ll continue to do that. But what’s sad is that so much of this is preventable.”

Adventist Health Sonora reports there are more COVID hospitalizations currently than at any point during the pandemic.

“The evidence is clear: vaccination can help shield our loved ones and neighbors here in Tuolumne County from the worst outcomes,” adds Michelle Jachetta, Tuolumne County Public Health Director. “The best, most effective thing community members can do to protect themselves, their community, and the capacity of our local healthcare system is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The joint press release notes that other safety measures are also requested, like staying home when sick, wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently and avoiding large gatherings.

Jachetta concludes, “If those who are eligible get vaccinated and everyone continues to practice the other recommended safety measures, we can finally get back on the path toward the normal we’re all missing.”