At a time when the COVID-19 virus may be at its peak, the Manchester Township Police Department reports a dramatic increase in DOA (dead on arrival) calls over the same two-month period last year (early March to early May). ‘DOA’ refers to a death that is discovered due to a well-being check or a death discovered by a family member, neighbor or loved one. Many of the recent victims had underlying health issues.

There may be a link in the spike in DOAs to sick residents who are frightened to go to local hospitals due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Residents may be afraid of contracting the virus at local healthcare facilities and are choosing to stay home, even after EMS responders recommend they seek medical attention.

Township officials urge residents, many of whom are senior citizens, to call 9-1-1 and go to the hospital if experiencing shortness of breath, consistent fever and flu-like symptoms, chest pain, heart attack or stroke symptoms.Manchester Mayor Ken Palmer is requesting residents who are in contact with neighbors, friends and loved ones, to urge them to seek medical assistance if they are experiencing any of these symptoms.

“We need to get the word out, especially to the 55+ communities,” Mayor Palmer said. “Not all of our residents follow social media, Facebook or internet news reports, so we are looking for residents to reach out to their neighbors.”

Local officials stress that precautions are taken by EMS and hospital professionals to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If any resident is suffering stroke or heart attack symptoms or other serious medical issues to be evaluated at your local emergency room.