Editor's note: Following is an open letter to the community from Archbold President and CEO Perry Mustian:
Less than a month ago I shared some optimism that the numbers of COVID-positive patients in Archbold facilities were lower than they were in April and the first half of May. We were thankful for that, and attributed much of the decline in admissions to the actions our community took to closely follow CDC guidance and local recommendations.
I also shared a thought as we officially began summer:
“None of us want to go back to where we were a few months ago, and we must work together to prevent that.”
And yet, we are precisely where we didn’t want to be. Public health data shows a rapid rise in COVID- positive individuals, and the numbers continue to rise. At Archbold, the number of COVID-positive patients in our hospitals now equals the peak level we reached in April. This has created a very challenging and stressful environment for our employees and physicians. The rise in COVID-admissions is not the result of increased testing. It’s a reflection of the disease spreading and more community members requiring hospitalization.
Frustratingly, instead of holding the line, many of us dropped our guard. While it’s critically important to support our local businesses, many did it without wearing masks. Many reconnected with family and friends and socialized in large groups, disregarding public health guidance on physical distancing.
We had pulled together as a community and were on the right track. Regardless of reason, though, many knew what had to be done and just didn’t continue to follow through. But I believe we can come together again, refocused, to achieve a healthier and safer environment for our families, friends and neighbors. It’s a quality we have that makes our community special.
I am urging you to wear a face mask, use good hand hygiene and physically distance yourselves from others when in public. Every interaction we have affects others, and in turn the people they come in contact with. The end result of some of these interactions are causing an increase in admissions, and deaths.
We are at critical juncture again. We can and must do better. Our community deserves better.
President and CEO
Archbold Medical Center