Chattahoochee Valley hospitals ready themselves for potential increases in COVID-19 cases

Chattahoochee Valley hospitals ready themselves for potential increases in COVID-19 cases

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Officials are learning from Memorial Day, and are expecting a jump in COVID-19 cases as we move away from the Fourth of July weekend.

From east Alabama to west Georgia and further south, hospitals in the Chattahoochee Valley and beyond say they are ready in case more hospital beds are needed for COVID-19 patients.

As the Peach State inches closer to 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitals across the state are preparing.

“I think we’re as prepared as we can be,” Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health currently reports roughly 2,500 ICU admissions and nearly 12,000 overall hospitalizations. The state reports both Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital are experiencing saturated ICU’s. Hospitals in Columbus do not share their numbers publicly, but Mayor Skip Henderson said they are not saturated as the state reports.

“My understanding is yeah, they are high, they’re watching them. They’re marshaling their resources very very carefully, but as it stands right now they still have capacity. Now if it continues at the clip it’s been going, that capacity will be absorbed and they are prepared for that eventuality, so is the city and our homeland security. We’ve made sure to make arrangements there is space available for Muscogee County residents,” Henderson said.

Following the Fourth of July holiday, Mayor Henderson said a jump in cases is inevitable, especially with the spike seen after Memorial Day. As testing continues, he expects to see the increase later this week.

“But there’s typically a trend. Mondays we don’t see a lot of new cases then Tuesdays we do. I think that has something to do with the timing of the lab,” Henderson said.

Representatives from the East Alabama Medical Center report they have four coronavirus patients on ventilators plus a few others in the ICU, but they do have room for non-COVID-19 patients, which is a move in the right direction.

A little to our south, Phoebe Putney in Albany has 52 hospitalized COVID-19 patients right now. Their Sumter campus has five.

This is an increase, representatives said; this is the first time they have had more than 50 coronavirus patients at one time since May.

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