JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow Memorial Hospital is feeling its most recent COVID-19 surge, along with many other hospitals in the country.  

“It has been very much a struggle to make sure that we are maintaining services. But, I think what we have learned from the past few searches has been invaluable,” said Chief Medical Officer for Onslow Memorial Hospital, Dr. Steven Spencer. 

Spencer said right now they have 38 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Seven of those patients are in the ICU. They say most are unvaccinated. 

“We have done a tremendous job to make sure we are taking care of our COVID patients aggressively and making sure they get the best care possible. But also making sure that all of the things we have put in place are keeping our patients safe and well taken care of,” said Spencer. 

Spencer added they have never seen rates of cases like this in the county before. He says the new variant is to blame. 

“The portion of those folks that do get sick, do get sick. I mean, they get sick, just as they did with the other variants. So we are seeing very sick patients who are entering the hospital,” said Spencer. 

Spencer said with every surge of cases, they are taught valuable lessons on how to overcome. 

“If we need to change staffing, if we need to cut back on nonessential services in one area in order to provide essential services and air, we’re having those conversations early and often,” said Spencer.