CHICAGO (CBS) – Lawyer Aurora Health has otu placed an emotional plea with a full-page ad telling people, “We can not stop COVID without you.”
It encourages people to get vaccinated or boosted if they are eligible. The ad appeals on behalf of doctors, nurses and other exhausted health care professionals.
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It is a desperate plea because COVID-19 and its Omicron variant have far-reaching effects on both patients and exhausted healthcare professionals.
“Beds are full. Waiting times are long,” the ad says.
“There is a tiredness and an emotional drain that also occurs,” said Dr. Mary Beth Kingston, Chief Nursing Officer.
She said the hospital system is following the national trend of shortages of health workers, making emotional drain only worse. It all happens during another enormous case study as the Omicron variant spreads.
“We’re just seeing a huge turnout in COVID cases and we can not stop this by ourselves,” she said.
This advertisement, now published in Chicago and the Milwaukee area, aims to place the responsibility of turning the tide in the hands of the public.
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“The most important thing is to get vaccinated,” Kingston said.
More than 90% of patients in the hospital system are unvaccinated or need a booster shot. Kingston said a small number of fully vaccinated people in the hospital have underlying conditions or are immunocompromised.
“So that’s the most important message – if you’re vaccinated, the chances of being hospitalized are dramatically reduced,” Kingston said.
Dr Kingston said at the time that she was not in a position to reject patients, but she warned: “We are looking forward to a very severe winter.”
Kingston said this effort, with the hope of turning a new page and preventing a potentially gloomy next chapter, is being used across the country. As winter continues, health professionals are now keeping a close eye on how COVID cases mixed with flu outbreaks affect hospitalizations.
Lawyer Aurora is one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in the country and says it cares for three times more COVID-19 patients than two months ago.
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The ad ran Sunday in both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, as well as newspapers in Milwaukee and Green Bay.