Phoebe caring for more COVID patients now than when SWGA was among worst virus hotspots
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe Putney Health System is caring for more COVID-19 patients now than at any point during the initial surge of the pandemic two years when southwest Georgia was one of the worst virus hotspots, the hospital system said Tuesday.
The health system said the current COVID-19 patient total of 192 “is higher than the first peak of 184 patients on April 9, 2020, and it is only 22 shy of Phoebe’s record number of COVID-19 patients set on August 21, 2021 at the height of the delta surge.”
Phoebe Putney Health System CEO and President Scott Steiner said the hospital system hopes it is nearing the peak, “but the numbers show we’re just not there yet.”
“We continue to admit a high number of COVID patients every day, and the positivity rate of those we are testing in our outpatient clinics and our emergency centers remains high,” Steiner said. “That tells us the virus is still spreading rapidly in our communities. This variant remains a serious threat to public health, and people should treat it as such.”
Phoebe officials said The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has listed the current risk assessment and positivity rate in southwest Georgia counties as “high,” the top level.
Phoebe officials said DPH has also restarted COVID-19 testing in Worth County and is providing free testing at many county health departments.
“You can call the department in your county for hours of operation and to set an appointment,” Phoebe officials said in a release. “Phoebe is providing limited COVID-19 testing at its urgent and primary clinics, though an office visit fee may apply.”
The hospital system said there has been an increase in the number of patients requiring critical care.
“Last Thursday, we had 33 COVID-19 patients in our intensive care units. Today, we are up to 46 ICU patients,” said Dr. Dianna Grant, Phoebe Putney Health System chief medical officer. “Those who contract COVID are much more likely to endure only mild symptoms and to avoid hospitalization if they are fully vaccinated and boosted, but this variant is still causing severe illness in many patients, particularly those who are not vaccinated.”
Vaccine appointments at various Phoebe locations can be made by calling (229) 312-MYMD.
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