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Phoebe: COVID-19 admissions still high

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.(PPMH)
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 1:24 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe Putney Health System said Friday that the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly following a high daily number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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

  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 152
  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 29
  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 6
  • Total Inpatients Recovered – 2,652
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 303
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Sumter – 77
  • Total Vaccines Administered – 60,275

“While our number of COVID-19 inpatients has dropped this week, that is not a sign of an improving situation. Fortunately, we have had multiple days with a significant number of discharges. Unfortunately, 17 of our COVID patients died in the last seven days. That’s the highest weekly total since early January. Yesterday in Albany, we admitted 23 COVID patients — an unsustainably high daily number and a clear indication that the virus is still spreading rapidly in our community, making many people seriously ill,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System president and CEO.

“The current strain of the virus is much more contagious than any previous variant. The CDC says each COVID patient is now likely to spread the virus to twice as many people as in the early days of the pandemic. You can reduce the risk to those around you by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask and socially distancing.”

Scott Steiner, Phoebe CEO
Scott Steiner, Phoebe CEO(WALB)

Phoebe continues to expand its capacity to administer monoclonal antibody infusion therapy. Around 80 patients received the treatment on Thursday. The hospital system said that daily number is expected to increase next week.

“This is by far the best treatment option available for people early in their diagnosis before severe symptoms develop,” Dr. Dianna Grant, Phoebe Putney Health System chief medical officer. “These antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight the virus. The treatment is safe, and there is overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness in preventing worsening of symptoms.”

Phoebe has been providing the therapy at Phoebe North in Albany and Phoebe Sumter in Americus since early January.

Recently, the health system added an additional location on its main campus and also began offering the treatment to pediatric patients, ages 12-17. Right now, workers are installing a modular building adjacent to the main emergency room. Once it is operational, patients who are diagnosed with COVID in the ER can immediately be referred there for treatment, according to Phoebe.

“We’re having such great success with this treatment, we want to make sure we have the ability to provide it to every appropriate patient. This is a significant investment, but we know it is one that will help more patients recover without needing hospitalization. And we are making the treatment available at no cost to patients,” Grant said.

Patients with a positive COVID test can be referred for the treatment by a physician, or they can begin a self-referral process by calling (229) 312-MYMD. That’s the same phone number people can use to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at Phoebe facilities.

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