Phoebe’s latest Covid-19 update includes pregnancy guidance

Viral transmission believed to have slowed but caution remains in advance of holidays
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ALBANY, GA – As of Friday morning, these were Phoebe’s COVID-19 numbers:

  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 73
  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 24
  • Total COVID-19 Patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 3
  • Total Inpatients Recovered – 3,152
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 368
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Sumter – 93
  • Total Positive Deaths from Phoebe Worth – 1
  • Total Vaccines Administered – 64,770

“While our number of COVID inpatients increased a little today, we were excited to drop below 100 yesterday for the first time since early August.  We are down 53% from our summer peak, and that is welcomed news,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President and CEO.  “Clearly, transmission of the virus has slowed, but we have not yet put the delta variant surge behind us.  We admitted nine new COVID patients to our hospitals yesterday, and we are caring for 100 COVID patients today.  Our care teams continue to devote incredible energy toward fighting this virus, and we know it is not going away any time soon.”

Phoebe began administering COVID-19 booster shots to eligible southwest Georgians this week.  Thursday, at mass vaccination sites in Albany and Sylvester, 596 community members received a third dose.  Phoebe is also providing the booster shots to its employees and will open a community mass vaccination site in Americus next week.

To be eligible for a booster shot, you must have received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and either be at least 65 years old, at least 18 years old with a serious underlying medical condition or at least 18 years old with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 at work.  Individuals may schedule booster shots or initial vaccinations at Phoebe locations by calling 229-312-MYMD.

Phoebe is also urging pregnant women to get vaccinated after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an urgent health advisory this week, strongly encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated.  The vaccination rate among pregnant women in the United States is less than half of the overall vaccination rate, and evidence shows pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

“We know many pregnant women are worried the vaccine may harm their babies, and we understand that concern.  There’s also widely shared misinformation stating that vaccines lead to infertility.  The is no evidence to show either of those things is true,” said William Sewell, MD, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Medical Director of Women & Children’s Services.

A large CDC study found COVID vaccines do not increase the risk of miscarriage or other complications.  There is, however, growing evidence that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are more likely to lose their babies.  “Pregnancy already puts a strain on a woman’s body.  When you add in COVID-19, the mother and the baby in her womb can both struggle to get oxygen.  That puts both lives at risk,” Dr. Sewell said.

In its health advisory, the CDC recommended urgent action to increase COVID vaccination among women who are pregnant, recently pregnant, trying to become pregnant now or who might become pregnant in the future.