Doctor: Hospitals seeing uptick in patients due to holiday gatherings


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The holidays are behind us, but a local doctor says the consequences of some Rhode Islanders’ actions are beginning to impact the state’s hospitals.

Dr. Laura Forman, Kent Hospital’s chief of emergency medicine and medical director of the Cranston field hospital, tells 12 News that a number of COVID-19 patients who were admitted to the state’s hospitals said they attended a holiday gathering before falling ill.

“We are having a lot of people come in reporting they were with larger groups of people, they were with extended family members over the holidays, so we are starting to see those numbers climb,” Foreman said.

She said that, while there is a vaccine and a much brighter year ahead, health care workers are still exhausted and the pandemic is far from over.

“Another three-to-four days out, we expect to also see an even bigger bump from New Year’s Eve as well,” Foreman said. “Our worry is that a lot of people spent time with people on Christmas, didn’t realize they had been exposed, then spent time with other people on New Year’s. We are really worried about what the next several weeks look like for us and the state.”

In addition to Kent Hospital, Foreman said there are currently more than 100 patients in the Cranston field hospital.

“I want to be clear, I think the vast majority of the public is being really conscientious,” Foreman said. “But there is a small, but significant, part of the population that continues to deny that COVID even exists and continues to not take ownership of their own responsibility.”

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