VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Lowndes County just hit a little over 3,000 positive COVID-19 cases and a total of 34 reported deaths, according to Georgia Department of Public Health.
South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) talked with WALB about how they’ve been handling the influx of cases.
As of Tuesday, SGMC is treating 74 COVID-19 patients. Hospital officials said they’re not worried about reaching bed capacity.
“Our staff, we work really hard and find different ways to create that capacity each day and we are very busy and our staff are working very hard, but we are also able to work through that each day. So we’ve never had to send patients out of our health system,” Randy Smith, SGMC chief nursing officer, said.
In the beginning of the pandemic, SGMC announced there was a little over 90 beds available. Smith said there isn’t an exact amount. The hospital has the flexibility to provide space and treatment. They have a plan in place in case they have to reduce outpatient procedures.
They haven't reached that point yet.
“We really got two parallel tracks going on. We have the second wave of COVID we have to deal with. And we have seen in our community, as well as across the country that it has hit a much younger age bracket. You can have patients maybe in their 20s all the way to patients in their 80s and 90s,” said Smith.
The most severe symptom they’ve seen is shortness of breath. The hospital still administers convalescent plasma and redemsivir.
“Different people respond differently and it depends on the symptoms they’ve had certainly has the impact on the response they will get from the drug,” said Smith.
Smith said getting these treatments early can improve their effectiveness.
Age and severity of symptoms play a role too.
“I would also caution people to also not always believe things like redemsivir or convalescent plasma will be the one thing to cure them. Certainly it’s the modality that helps them, but because there is so much variation, I just don’t want people to think that simply because they get it, it’s going to heal them,” said Smith.