None of us wanted to start 2022 this way. It breaks my heart to write that once again, our hospital is full and we have more than doubled the number patients hospitalized with COVID and in the intensive care units in the last 2 weeks. What’s worse is epidemiologists predict an even bigger surge over the next 2 weeks because omicron has an infectivity rate similar to measles. The dramatic surge in cases has strained our healthcare system. As a result, we have moved to restrict surgical procedures, social events, and travel.
I know our teams continue to show up and step up even without cheers and support of the public. We see each other and know how hard it is to do what we do. We know why we do it too. We are here to take care of each other and to provide care to patients and the broader community.
As we enter another period of rapid uncertainty and change, it is not too late to do whatever we can to protect each other.
In general, to reduce risk of infection and severe disease:
- Get your COVID vaccine and booster; no judgement if you haven’t been vaccinated yet
- Mask indoors with unvaccinated people and with people who are at risk
- Avoid crowds
- Stay at home and avoid others if you are sick
- Test when you develop symptoms
- …Oh! And get your flu vaccine!
Some helpful links to check out as we navigate the coming weeks
- Public information about COVID-19: www.bjc.org/coronavirus
- BJC “Keeping You Safe” website for patients and visitors
We are grateful for your partnership in these difficult times and looking forward to brighter days ahead.
Dineo Khabele, MD
Mitchell & Elaine Yanow Professor and Chair
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Washington University School of Medicine