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“It’s just not worth the risk.” South Georgia hospital experiences high numbers of COVID-related deaths

13 COVID-related deaths were reported by Archbold Medical Center within the first seven days of...
13 COVID-related deaths were reported by Archbold Medical Center within the first seven days of September.(Archbold Medical Center)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 9:48 AM EDT
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Thomasville, Ga. (WCTV) - Within the first week of September, Archbold Medical Center has already reported 13 COVID-related deaths.

While the Delta variant continues to surge among the younger population, the vaccination rate in Thomas County has remained under 50%. According to Archbold’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Coy Irvin, they are seeing a small increase in interest however, as more people see the severe impact COVID is having on the the youth demographic.

“We’re seeing more people come back, of course some are coming back for their third or booster shot for the high-risk folks. But for the other people, we’re seeing younger people now coming back asking to get the vaccine,” he said.

Prior to the Delta variant, Dr. Irvin said it was believed that seniors 65 and older or those with underlying conditions were most at risk for severe symptoms. Now that hospitalizations and intensive care beds are filled with people under the age of 50 - including some children - officials shared that it’s crucial everyone eligible gets the vaccine.

“We’ve had several children, not a lot because we send most of ours down to Tallahassee to the pediatric unit there but we’ve had some and we’ve had some serious ones,” said Irvin. “Then we’ve had a good many of sick young adults I think 40 years old that have passed away.”

On Wednesday the hospital updated its numbers, reporting 56 people hospitalized. 49 of those patients are unvaccinated, and seven admitted as breakthrough cases. 21 people are currently in critical care - all unvaccinated.

Irvin said those patients with breakthrough COVID cases are not being placed on ventilators, or dying. For anyone still on the fence about the vaccine, that data should mean something.

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