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A salute to health care workers

Health care workers of all disciplines have been putting in endless hours of work while making extraordinary sacrifices over the past year in order to keep the general public safe and healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For that, we give them our utmost gratitude and respect.

One group we want highlight in particular is the Beaufort County Health Department.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, the health department has provided many COVID-19 testing opportunities, as well as contact tracing for positive cases.  They’ve spent weekends and holidays working to make sure Beaufort County’s metrics are precise, and they’ve made thousands of calls and conducted as many interviews in their efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

In recent weeks, the department had another major task added to its plate with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. County Health Director Jim Madson said it hasn’t been easy for the department to all of its COVID-19-related responsibilities, but his employees have persevered.

“It’s trying,” Madson said. “But we’re very fortunate that we have people that can also help us with the (Emergency Operations Center), and other people.”

The health department’s efforts, combined with the expertise and care of local health care workers, have been instrumental in combating community spread of the virus. Their efforts have been critical, particularly for the protection of medically vulnerable members of our community.

There’s still plenty of work to be done in the fight against COVID-19, given that it could be several months before everyone has a chance to receive a vaccination. In the meantime, our local health officials and health care workers will undoubtedly spend many more late nights and weekends at the office, spearheading Beaufort County’s efforts to immunize its residents against the virus.

Our local health care works deserve recognition for the job they’ve done, and will continue to do throughout the pandemic — whether they work in the hospital, in the doctor’s office, in a clinic, at the health department or elsewhere in the community.