Phoebe: Covid-19 cases down but critically ill numbers increase

“Even with our overall numbers going down, it is clear the virus is still spreading rapidly in our communities," says Steiner
Scott Steiner On Vaccines
Scott Steiner

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

  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 133
  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 22
  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 7
  • Total Inpatients Recovered – 2,858
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 338
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Sumter – 86
  • Total Vaccines Administered – 61,500

“While we have had a 24% decrease in COVID-19 inpatients since our summer peak nearly three weeks ago, our number of critically ill COVID patients has actually increased.  Once again, today, our intensive care units are full, and we are caring for 60 COVID patients in our ICUs.  Forty-nine of them are intubated, with mechanical ventilators breathing for them,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President and CEO.  “Even with our overall numbers going down, it is clear the virus is still spreading rapidly in our communities.  Yesterday, we admitted 12 COVID patients to our hospitals in Albany, six in Americus and two in Sylvester.  Now is not the time to let our guard down.  We need to continue to take steps to slow the spread of the virus,” Steiner added.

Phoebe continues to stress three important elements in the community’s COVID-19 battle: prevention, testing and treatment.  “Vaccination remains the best protection against the virus.  All the vaccines currently available are effective at preventing serious illness and death, and vaccinated individuals who contract COVID-19 generally have less severe cases and are contagious for a shorter period of time than those who are unvaccinated.  We also encourage people to wear masks in public areas to prevent transmission of the virus,” said Dianna Grant, MD, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Medical Officer.

It is important for individuals who develop any COVID-19 symptoms to be tested right away, so they can self-isolate if they are positive, to prevent spreading the virus to others.  Currently there are free, drive-through, mass testing sites in Albany and Americus.

  • Albany COVID-19 Testing
    • 804 13th Ave.
    • Open seven days a week
    • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Registration is not required, but you can pre-register by calling 844-778-2455
  • Americus COVID-19 Testing
    • 901 Adderton St.
    • Open Monday – Friday
    • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Registration is not required, but you can pre-register by calling 919-351-6256

Individuals with a positive COVID-19 test are encouraged to consider monoclonal antibody infusion therapy before severe symptoms develop.  The treatment is extremely effective at slowing or stopping progression of the illness, so that patients avoid needing to be hospitalized.  “This week, we opened a COVID-19 Advanced Care Clinic directly across the street from our main emergency center.  This temporary facility greatly increases our capacity to administer monoclonal antibody infusions.  Yesterday, we provided this treatment to 93 patients at multiple locations across our system.  This is our highest daily number yet,” Dr. Grant said.

Today, Phoebe will also begin offering monoclonal antibody injections at the Phoebe Worth emergency center.  Patients can be referred for monoclonal antibody treatment by physicians, or they can begin a self-referral process by calling 229-312-MYMD.  That is the same number people throughout southwest Georgia can use to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

The Phoebe Family would also like to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  “This weekend, I hope everyone will take a moment to remember the lives lost 20 years ago and all those who have sacrificed in battle since,” Steiner said.  “As we continue our fight against COVID-19, remember the togetherness we felt as Americans on Sept. 11th and take inspiration from all those who put the common good and the wellbeing of others above their own self-interest.  Our country needs that unity today, just as we did 20 years ago,” he added.