As of Monday Aug. 16, South Georgia Medical Center reached a record high number of 109 inpatients positive with COVID-19. This comes directly after the health system experienced a significant increase in the demand for COVID-19 tests.
On Friday Aug. 13, SGMC administered over 600 tests at their drive thru testing site located in the parking lot of the Surgery Center Building.
Of those being tested within the last two weeks, 1 year olds have yielded the highest percentage of testing positive for the coronavirus followed by adults aged 33.
Currently the average age of COVID-19 positive inpatients is 57 years old; however, ages of current inpatients positive range from 4 months to 95 years.
“COVID-19 does not discriminate when it comes to age, and we are seeing a wide range of ages test positive for the virus. We’re highly encouraging everyone if they have not been vaccinated to go get vaccinated, and if you happen to test positive and do not have to be hospitalized we have treatment options available,” explained Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Dawson.
In efforts to battle the surge, SGMC opened a COVID-19 Treatment Center to provide area residents who are positive with COVID-19 but do not require hospitalization the treatment option of monoclonal antibody infusions.
Since the opening of the COVID-19 Treatment Center, SGMC has set a record number of over 400 infusions given within a week with the highest daily number given being 76 at the treatment center.
Prior to receiving the infusion patients must be screened by a provider. The SGMC COVID-19 Treatment Center is located on the main campus in the Surgery Center Building at 2417 N. Patterson St., and is open Monday-Sunday, from 11am-9pm.
Hospital officials are still urging people to go get vaccinated even if they have received the infusion, after awaiting the allotted 90 day period.
Dr. Dawson says, “After patients have received the infusion and waited the 90 day period they should still go get vaccinated. Our biggest chance against fighting this pandemic is through vaccinations.”
President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean states, “It is extremely concerning to see the sudden and steady increase in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. We now have five dedicated units for COVID-19 patient care and we are concerned about the increasing demand for beds. However, at this time we are managing the need although some non-essential surgeries are being delayed at SGMC Main Campus to increase the quantity of beds for COVID-19 inpatients.”
According to hospital data, 93 percent of inpatients currently are unvaccinated.
“We want everyone to take necessary precautions to be safe and the number one precaution is to be vaccinated. I encourage everyone to listen to their Doctor and get the facts about the vaccine if they’re having doubts. Without question, the way out of this pandemic and the quickest way to return to a pre-pandemic normal is through vaccination.” said Dean.
SGMC is administering COVID-19 vaccines at the Smith Northview Campus located on 4280 North Valdosta Rd between Monday-Friday, from 9:30am-4pm.
People interested in receiving their COVID-19 vaccine or for more information regarding SGMC’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, testing, or treatment can visit SGMC.org.