Phoebe Putney gives updates on COVID-19, visitation guidelines

Phoebe gives updates on latest COVID-19 happenings

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital said they no longer require temperature checks, but they will screen visitors as they come in.

For months, the hospital has put guidelines in place, not only to protect staff, but also patients, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

“A patient can have one visitor in a room at a time, we’ll also be allowing caregivers in, we will maintain no one under 18 admitted in the hospital,” Joe Austin, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO.

Amid the recent spike in cases, Austin said they’re closely monitoring the number of patients that come in and out.

The hospital system gave an update on visitor guidelines.
The hospital system gave an update on visitor guidelines. (Source: WALB)

“This past weekend, we actually admitted 17 patients over a three-day period. It is up and down, day to day, we only admitted one patient and discharged eight. I have looked at the numbers from last night, we admitted five and discharged nine,” said Austin.

Austin said they treat each patient that comes in carefully. Although they won’t require temperature checks, masks will still be required to be admitted.

“If we can maintain that ratio, by admitting less than we are discharging more than we do, then that is the way to go. But, unfortunately, it is going a different way. We are watching it very very closely,” said Austin.

Dr. Steven Kitchen, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital chief medical officer, also addressed concerns regarding the spread from people coming into the hospital, showing little to no symptoms.

“We thought the likelihood of someone being asymptomatic spreading the virus was low, that is absolutely to be shown not to be true. What has made this particularly challenging for the standpoint of controlling transmission, is we now understand many, many patients who test positive either are showing no symptoms or they have not developed symptoms yet,” said Kitchen.

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