Governor concerned about healthcare workers, pandemic stress they are under


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont says he’s concerned about healthcare workers and the stress they are under as the predicted COVID-19 pandemic peak gets closer.

At the governor’s briefing Monday, state health officials talked about the peak, the hospitalizations going up, the numbers going up, and what we can do to stop it.

Gov. Lamont brought in Dr. Marcella Nunez Smith, a Yale School of Public Health professor who is on his reopening Connecticut Board and who has recently been selected to co-chair President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 taskforce.

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She says they are looking to make a difference and some changes when it comes to even basic things like mask-wearing.

“But we will see this rapid increase, and hospitalizations are what we pay attention to; we each have the power to change that projection,” Dr. Nunez-Smith said.

Depending on the models, the governor said the peak is most likely coming in late January. Dr. Nunez-Smith says Governor Lamont as well as the Biden COVID task force can use precision to dial-up and down controls to protect an already burdened healthcare system.

“Workers are tapped out amongst the surge that is in Wisconsin which is taking a big hit. Doctors are calling it quits under stress,” Gov. Lamont explained.

Dr. Manisha Juthani of Yale Medicine added, “Then on top of that, they were worried about themselves. I’m worried about caring for the patients that are coming in, and if we don’t have a healthcare workforce nobody is going to be cared for.”

Even as hospitalizations are projected to go over the one-thousand mark in the next couple of weeks, they are already seeing many more COVID patients than they have in recent months.

Dr. Juthani said, “Going into this cold, dark winter you have to double down. There’s no choice about it because doctors are getting tired.”

Acting Commissioner of CT Dept. of Public Health Dr. Deidre Gifford added, “I hope people keep in mind whether they consider to put on that mask or go to that party, those things do translate into infections and those infections translate in the hospitalizations.”

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And the governor says next time you’re not wearing that mask, or breaking protocols, think about the workers on the front lines especially in the nursing homes, where the stakes are high. Do your part to try and reduce the peak.

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