~ “Do not come to ER, call your House Doctor first” ~
CAY HILL: The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 admissions (from 2 to 8 admitted patients currently) and persons with COVID-19 symptoms visiting the Emergency Room (ER) for non-emergency related cases and is hereby again reminding the general public to call your General Practitioner (GP), your House Doctor, first if you have COVID-19 symptoms who will assess if you need to be taken to the hospital.
Chairman of the OMT, Dr. Felix Holiday reminds everyone that the prevailing COVID-19 procedure needs to be followed, which is:
- Call your House Doctor first in case you have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Your House Doctor will make the assessment if you require hospitalization.
- In case you require hospitalization, an ambulance will be arranged to pick you up.
“In an effort to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission to the public and staff at SMMC and in the interest not to overburden our regular healthcare system, we are urgently requesting the public to refrain from visiting the ER when displaying COVID-19 symptoms and to call your House Doctor first who will assess your health and further advise on the next steps. By all means, do not come to the ER, call your House Doctor first”, Dr. Holiday stated.
The OMT also points out that preliminary data on the Omicron variant, which is quickly becoming the dominant strain worldwide, indicate to mostly milder cases requiring less persons to be hospitalized with severe illness due to COVID-19 as stated by several official institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The OMT also urges the general public to get their COVID-19 booster shot in case they are vaccinated and those that not yet have vaccinated, to go do so as soon as possible as vaccines have proven to be safe and efficient in protecting against severe COVID-19 illness requiring hospitalization.
Persons can get their COVID-19 booster shot on a walk-in basis at CPS (Vineyard Building) during weekdays from 8 am – 3 pm.