City of Laurens facing COVID-19 emergency as National Guard called in to help

In a video address on the City of Laurens YouTube page, Mayor Nathan Senn urged the public to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously, as the virus continues to ravage the community. Right now, Laurens hospital is at capacity because of the virus, forcing officials to make decisions about who gets potentially life-saving care--and who doesn't. 

Matt Kaufax hears from the Laurens mayor who says the situation with COVID-19 in the city and county is a "four alarm fire". (1/7/2021)

LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) - Mayor Nathan Senn says Laurens Hospital is facing a dire emergency, nearly unable to handle the amount of COVID-19 patients coming through its doors.

“I think it is vitally important that the community knows that now is the time to take urgent action,“ he said.

The mayor says his worst fears about what would happen if people didn’t take the threat of COVID-19 seriously back in March have been realized.

“This isn’t a threat of danger that may perhaps come,“ Senn said. “This is the current situation. We are reporting the situation as it is right now.“

The mayor says exhausted and emotional hospital workers are ordering extra stretchers, supervising an overflowing critical care unit, and calling in the National Guard to help.

“When you have hospital administrators that are just sort of…at their wits end, wondering why we can’t get the community to do what’s been consistently asked of them, you really feel for them,“ the mayor told Fox Carolina.

Senn says it’s nothing new: wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands, and don’t gather. And yet—many are missing the mark he says, living as if there is no pandemic.

“I think there’s folks that have gotten a lot of bad information,“ he said.

That’s why he is begging the community to trust medical professionals.

“Listen to official sources,“ Senn said. “Trust DHEC. Trust folks who spend their lives trying to save lives.”

“We have to come to grips with reality,” he added.

He says that that reality looms as COVID-19, a silent, undiscerning killer, ravages his community.

“This virus isn’t liberal or conservative,” Senn said. “It is not Republican or Democrat. It is about looking after our hospital workers and giving them the ability to treat those who need it most.“

Copyright 2021 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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