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‘Get a vaccine, put on a mask’: Phoebe surpasses peak of winter COVID-19 surge

Hospital system recommends COVID vaccine for pregnant women
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.(PPMH)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe Putney Health System has surpassed the peak of a winter COVID-19 surge, now seeing the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalization since April 2020 — when Albany was an early hotspot for the virus.

Phoebe Putney Health System CEO and President Scott Steiner said on Friday, the hospital system is caring for 133 patients in its COVID-19 units. There were five additional COVID-19 deaths.

“(Thursday), we officially exceeded our peak from the last major surge over the winter, meaning we had our highest number of COVID-19 inpatients since April 2020 when Albany was one of the worst pandemic hotspots in the world,” Steiner said. “I can’t comprehend why — after fighting this war for 18 months, with people still dying and with critically ill patients filling our COVID units — we’re still having to work to convince people of the seriousness of what our tireless teams are dealing with every day. If only the deniers and the doubters could spend a shift working alongside one of our ICU nurses or respiratory therapists. Maybe then, they would believe.”

As of Friday, these were Phoebe’s latest COVID-19 numbers:

  • Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 113
  • Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 19
  • Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 1
  • Total inpatients recovered – 2,516
  • Total positive deaths from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 279
  • Total positive deaths from Phoebe Sumter – 71
  • Total vaccines administered – 58,802

Phoebe has also increased its capacity to provide monoclonal antibody infusion treatments.

“We have had extraordinary success with this treatment. When patients get the therapy soon after their diagnosis before severe symptoms begin, it almost always prevents hospitalization,” said Dr. Dianna Grant, Phoebe Putney Health System chief medical officer.

Scott Steiner is the CEO and president of Phoebe Putney Health System. (Source: WALB)
Scott Steiner is the CEO and president of Phoebe Putney Health System. (Source: WALB)

Vaccination appointments at Phoebe clinics can be scheduled by calling (229) 312-MYMD.

Recently, south Georgia hospitals have found it necessary to perform emergency c-sections on a number of women critically ill with COVID-19, to give them and their infants the best chance of survival, according to Phoebe.

The CDC recently recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There is no evidence that COVID vaccines are dangerous for most pregnant women or their babies. There is ample evidence showing how dangerous COVID is to them. Pregnant patients with COVID infection are suffering with more severe disease and more life-threatening complications during this delta variant surge and we urge them — and all eligible Georgians — to get vaccinated,” said Dr. William Sewell, Phoebe Putney Health System medical director of women and children’s services.

The FDA has also authorized an additional dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for certain people with compromised immune systems.

Phoebe has ordered additional vaccine supply and is making plans to begin offering those booster shots to eligible individuals while awaiting further guidance from the FDA and CDC.

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