A letter to residents of Galax, Grayson, and Carroll Counties
September 1, 2021
To residents of Galax, Grayson, and Carroll Counties,
Our community’s COVID-19 crisis is far from over, and the Delta variant is significantly impacting our community, our hospital and the healthcare system in our state.
Over the past few weeks, our hospital has experienced a surge of COVID-19 positive patients, and like our neighboring hospitals and health systems, we are operating at the edge of our capacity. COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen 300% from just a month ago. The COVID-19 patients we are treating today are often critically ill, occupying most to all of our Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and the vast majority are unvaccinated.
This heartbreaking reality is taking an extreme toll on our physicians, nurses, and other frontline staff. Our team is committed to providing high-quality, compassionate care to our communities, yet they are discouraged with the increase in COVID-19 cases knowing that the severity of illnesses is entirely preventable with vaccination.
We are not at the point of no return yet, but we need your help to curb the spread of the virus by getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have already been vaccinated, thank you for doing your part. Not only is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective at reducing the likelihood of contracting the virus, being hospitalized or dying, it has now received full approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Most of our physicians are vaccinated because they know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and because they support their use. My family and I also received COVID vaccines to protect ourselves, but more importantly, to shield others from potential transmission. Every day our physicians and staff see the devastation this virus has had personally on many of those that contract it, and we are not comfortable in potentially perpetuating its spread. Getting the vaccine was a small act from us in helping care for our community.
We have seen firsthand how vaccines protect against this virus and share in the burden COVID-19 has placed on our community which is why we encourage you to be a part of the solution.
Additionally, we strongly recommend the community to take other precautions that we know are effective in slowing the spread of the virus, including wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and continuing proper hand hygiene. When ALL of these measures are consistently practiced, they will help lower the transmission rate and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in our community.
Regional events like the Fiddler’s Convention, the Carroll County Ag Fair, and the upcoming Labor Day Flea Market bring together large groups of people. While these events are extremely important to our community, our fear is that these events have and will become super spreader events and negatively influence the health of our community. Following the Fiddler’s Convention, we saw a sharp increase of COVID-19 patients, especially among unvaccinated individuals. Those who are unvaccinated put themselves at a higher risk for COVID-19 when attending public events, especially if unmasked.
If you have any hesitation about a COVID-19 vaccine, I encourage you to reach out to your physician or another member of the medical community with any questions. We have a responsibility to those around us - our children, neighbors, and even ourselves - to protect the health of our community. The best way you can do that right now is to get vaccinated.
On behalf of our team of healthcare heroes at Twin County Regional Healthcare, I ask you to take action now. For information on where to find a vaccine our area, please visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website. Please sign up to be vaccinated today, and don’t let yourself or someone you love to be the next victim of COVID-19.
Gregory Pearson, CEO,
Twin County Regional Healthcare