BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — While the latest COVID-19 surge is slightly declining in Kern County health officials said they are not out of the woods yet. They are concerned because they are starting to see more patients in other areas.
Last year the CDC released a study reporting that 4 in 10 adults avoided medical care because of concerns related to COVID-19.
Wednesday, local health officials said this trend is continuing, while COVID patients are decreasing, they are starting to see more traditional patients with other chronic illnesses.
“What has happened is that we are seeing patients coming with more complex and severe illnesses and mainly because of delay in primary care. Delay of patients going to their doctors,” said Ghassan Jamaleddine Chief Medical Officer, Adventist Health
Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and COPD are just a handful of the disease’s health officials said they are starting to see patients with at their hospitals.
“This delay has resulted from us as health system being busy with COVID but also from fear in the public to go to health care systems and to go to their primary care doctors,” said Jamaleddine.
Jamaleddine said it's more important now more than ever to seek regular care.
“It is extremely important right now for people who do not have COVID to see their regular appointments with their primary care providers,” said Jamaleddine.
Because if you don’t Ken Keller, Memorial Hospital CEO, said your illness may get worse.
“Don’t delay healthcare, seek health care as necessary so that you don’t get into a situation where you’re really sick when you can finally go see your physician,” said Keller.
When it comes to COVID-19 officials said don’t forget the pandemic isn’t over.
As of Wednesday, Memorial Hospital has nine adults in the ICU and six people on ventilators. Mercy Hospital has 16 COVID patients in the ICU and 15 on ventilators.
As of Tuesday, Adventist Health Bakersfield has 19 patients in the ICU. Delano has seven people in the ICU and Tehachapi has three patients in the ICU.
Michelle Corson with the Kern County Public Health Department said getting checked for your health now may help when it comes to COVID-19.
“If we don’t take care of ourselves and make these appointments and preventative screenings, that’s really going to impact our overall health and then make us even more susceptible to illness like COVID-19,” said Corson.
Jamaleddine said he wants the public to know even though they are impacted with COVID, they are taking care of everybody and making things as safe as possible for everyone.