South Georgia Medical Center opened a COVID-19 Treatment Center to provide area residents who are positive with COVID-19, with an important treatment option—monoclonal antibody infusions. The clinic will be located on the main campus in the Surgery Center Building at 2417 N. Patterson St. in Valdosta, and be open Monday-Sunday, from 11am-9pm.
SGMC began offering monoclonal antibody infusions to patients that tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t require hospitalization back in December of 2020. The 20-minute infusion has proven to help lessen symptoms of the disease and improve recovery.
The spike of cases throughout South Georgia presented an increased demand for the treatment, and the COVID-19 Clinic will provide convenient, safe access for patients. To qualify for the treatment, patients must show proof of positive test within 10 days, not require admission to the hospital, and have some additional risk factor such as heart failure, diabetes, cancer history, advanced age over the age of 65 years old, immunosuppression, etc.
Last week SGMC provided upwards of 40 treatments per day in a designated unit within the hospital. Transitioning to the new outpatient space will allow providers to treat up to 3 times as many patients each day.
“This is just one tool to help us battle the surge of cases,” said Dr. Gregory Beale, Pulmonologist and Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control. “Receiving this treatment in the early stages of this disease dramatically reduces risk of hospitalization for the patient.”
This is extremely important as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has increased dramatically over the past weeks.
Another tool highly encouraged by health system officials is the COVID-19 vaccination. The system launched an awareness video campaign this week featuring physicians throughout the community, all sharing one message- now is the time to get your vaccine.
SGMC has given more than 36,000 vaccinations to-date, and asks community members to avoid misinformation and get facts from trusted professionals. The system has seen an increase in vaccine appointments over the past week.
“It is a positive sign that vaccination trends are growing; however, it is horrible that it takes so many people getting sick and unfortunately deaths to be that motivator,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Dawson.
SGMC is hosting a free drive thru vaccination clinic at its Smith Northview Campus on Saturday, Aug. 7 from 9am-3pm. SGMC continues to offer vaccines daily as well Monday-Friday, from 9am-3:30pm. Appointments are not required but can be made at sgmc.org.
If you do experience COVID-19 symptoms, call your primary care physician or visit a testing location. SGMC offers two walk-in testing sites in Lowndes County, one at the SGMC Smith Northview Campus and the SGMC Walk-In Lab at main campus.
For more information regarding SGMC’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, testing, vaccination, or treatment visit SGMC.org or call 229-333-1000.