Chapin pediatrician faced with surge of COVID positive patients

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:35 PM EDT
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CHAPIN, S.C. (WIS) - A Chapin pediatrician is seeing a jump in COVID-19 cases among Chapin-area children that’s he’s not seen since the pandemic began.

Dr. Luke Bonnett founded Chapin Pediatrics and said he expected a surge in January that didn’t come.

“It is absolutely crazy how different it is. Even just five, six weeks ago we’re like okay great, things seem to be slowing down. Then boom here’s this delta variant,” Bonnett said.

Lexington Richland School District 5 data shows as of Aug. 18, there were 75 students who had tested positive or were isolated from a positive test.

By Aug. 25, that number jumped to 125 students.

In the nearby Newberry County School District, the number of positive students jumped from 42 to 50 in the same timeframe.

Bonnett said the resurgent pandemic is taking a toll on his staff. ”We’re tired of it. My staff, they’re tired of it, they’ve grown weary of it,” he said. “When can we quit wearing a mask? When can we stop doing this? When can we stop our screening questionnaires? Well, not now.”

Bonnett said he is offering Pfizer doses for those eligible (12 and up), but his practice has only given out 71 doses since the pandemic began.

“We have thousands of patients on the books, again, it was staggering to me to get that number. I expected her to say hundreds, and I would have been embarrassed by that,” he said.

Newberry County Schools is debating a mask mandate on Monday, Bonnett said a mandate may push people away.

RELATED STORY | Newberry Co. School District 30 day mask mandate to be reconsidered

“To try to mandate something, to me just could further stir the pot, and turn someone off more that may have been even contemplating it just based on their own personality,” he said.

The meeting is at 7 p.m.

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