Phoebe Health System reaching capacity as COVID-19 cases rise

(ALBANY, GA) – The month of December has not been well for the Phoebe Health System as their current COVID-19 case numbers are continuing to steadily rise.

“It is up five-fold, five times the amount from where we were a week before Thanksgiving. So the Thanksgiving surge is absolutely real…” says Phoebe President, Scott Steiner.

With so many patients needing COVID care, among others, the situation is stretching phoebe staff to their limits, as they’re in need of several dozen additional nurses…

Steiner tells us, “We’re getting close to being full. It’s not necessarily the physical space, it’s finding clinical staff. It’s finding ICU nurses, it’s finding med-surge nurses, it’s finding intensivists…”

After recording some of their lowest COVID-19 numbers since the start of the pandemic, there’s growing concern among Phoebe officials that, if left unchecked, they could see their highest numbers yet.”

“Steiner says, “If we surge from Christmas on top of that, we’re at 100 today, we project by February greater than 160 patients here in Albany….”

Despite the outlook though, Steiner says that there is some optimism as the health system continues to receive more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He says, “We have so far dispensed about 1,600 vaccinations, and we are following the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health guidelines that indicate health care workers first.”

At their peak, the Phoebe Health System was caring for 165 COVID-19 patients.