SGMC opens COVID-19 treatment center

South Georgia Medical Center (Source: WALB)
South Georgia Medical Center (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) has opened a COVID-19 treatment center to provide residents who are positive with COVID-19, with an important treatment option, monoclonal antibody infusions.

The clinic will be at SGMC’s main campus in the Surgery Center Building, which is located at 2417 N. Patterson St. in Valdosta. It will be open Monday-Sunday, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

SGMC started offering monoclonal antibody infusions to patients that tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t require hospitalization back in December 2020.

The hospital said the 20-minute infusion has proven to help lessen symptoms of the disease and improve recovery.

“The spike of cases throughout South Georgia presented an increased demand for the treatment, and the COVID-19 Clinic will provide convenient, safe access for patients,” the hospital said in a release. “To qualify for the treatment, patients must show proof of positive test within 10 days, not require admission to the hospital, and have some additional risk factor such as heart failure, diabetes, cancer history, advanced age over the age of 65 years old, immunosuppression, etc.”

Last week, the hospital said it provided upwards of 40 treatments a day in a designated unit within the hospital.

“Transitioning to the new outpatient space will allow providers to treat up to three times as many patients each day,” according to the release.

“This is just one tool to help us battle the surge of cases,” said Dr. Gregory Beale, a pulmonologist and medical director for infection prevention and control. “Receiving this treatment in the early stages of this disease dramatically reduces risk of hospitalization for the patient.”

The hospital is encouraging people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is a positive sign that vaccination trends are growing; however, it is horrible that it takes so many people getting sick and unfortunately deaths to be that motivator,” said Dr. Brian Dawson, the SGMC chief medical officer.

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