Phoebe loosens visitation policy as COVID admissions continue to decrease
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -Phoebe Health System officials said there have been changes made to their visitor policy as reports show less than 40 patients are currently admitted.
As of Friday morning, these were Phoebe’s COVID-19 numbers:
- Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 29
- Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 7
- Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 0
- Total inpatients recovered – 4,183
- Total positive deaths from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 452
- Total positive deaths from Phoebe Sumter – 122
- Total positive deaths from Phoebe Worth – 1
- Total vaccines administered – 79,070
Phoebe’s number of COVID-19 patients Friday represents a decrease of more than 81% since the omicron surge peak in late January and a 40% decrease in the last week.
“We are encouraged to see our COVID numbers continue to go down. Transmission of the virus is clearly slowing in our communities, but the virus has not gone away,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President and CEO. “Our inpatient numbers have reached a moderate level that triggers an easing of visitation restrictions. We know loved ones play a crucial role in health and healing, and we are pleased to be able to allow more visitors into our hospitals now.”
While only one visitor is allowed to be with a patient at a time, there is no longer a daily limit on the number of visitors per patient. All visitors to Phoebe facilities will still be required to wear a surgical mask covered by a well-fitting cloth mask.
“While the CDC recently updated its masking guidance for communities, those new guidelines do not apply to healthcare facilities. We are still required to wear masks in our hospitals and clinics, and the evidence continues to show double-masking greatly increases the effectiveness of masks,” said Dr. Dianna Grant, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Medical Officer.
The new CDC community mask guidelines are based primarily on local COVID-19 hospitalizations. In communities with high COVID-19 levels, universal masking in indoor settings is still recommended. That is not the case in communities with low or medium COVID-19 levels.
As of March 3, the CDC still listed the COVID-19 community level for Dougherty County, as well as several surrounding counties, including Lee, Worth, Terrell, Calhoun and Randolph, as high.
“With COVID cases and hospitalizations decreasing rapidly, we would expect that level to change very soon, putting our area in a category where general indoor masking in non-healthcare facilities is not recommended. We would encourage anyone who is not yet comfortable going maskless, especially those who are immunocompromised or at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – to continue to wear a mask in public,” Grant said.
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