SMMC reminds public to stay at home, if symptomatic ~ “Do not come to ER, call your House Doctor first” ~

CAY HILL: The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is seeing
an uptick in COVID-19 admissions (from 2 to 8 admitted patients currently) and persons with COVID-19
symptoms visiting the Emergency Room (ER) for non-emergency related cases and is hereby again
reminding the general public to call your General Practitioner (GP), your House Doctor, first if you have
COVID-19 symptoms who will assess if you need to be taken to the hospital.
Chairman of the OMT, Dr. Felix Holiday reminds everyone that the prevailing COVID-19 procedure needs
to be followed, which is:

  1. Call your House Doctor first in case you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  2. Your House Doctor will make the assessment if you require hospitalization.
  3. In case you require hospitalization, an ambulance will be arranged to pick you up.
    “In an effort to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission to the public and staff at SMMC and in the
    interest not to overburden our regular healthcare system, we are urgently requesting the public to
    refrain from visiting the ER when displaying COVID-19 symptoms and to call your House Doctor first who
    will assess your health and further advise on the next steps. By all means, do not come to the ER, call
    your House Doctor first”, Dr. Holiday stated.
    The OMT also points out that preliminary data on the Omicron variant, which is quickly becoming the
    dominant strain worldwide, indicate to mostly milder cases requiring less persons to be hospitalized
    with severe illness due to COVID-19 as stated by several official institutions such as the World Health
    Organization (WHO), the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) and the Centers for Disease
    Control (CDC).
    The OMT also urges the general public to get their COVID-19 booster shot in case they are vaccinated
    and those that not yet have vaccinated, to go do so as soon as possible as vaccines have proven to be
    safe and efficient in protecting against severe COVID-19 illness requiring hospitalization.