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COVID-19 Cases Strain Area Hospital Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Georgia, hospitals in Athens are starting to be overwhelmed. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that, since Friday of last week, all of the ICU beds in the Athens region’s 12 counties have been full.

The Piedmont Athens Regional Medical centers refused to address the undersupply of ICU beds but did acknowledge in a statement that patient volumes fluctuate. St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens announced that it would no longer take requests to receive ICU patients. Both said that they could meet ICU needs by calling on sister facilities.

The State of Georgia is close to re-opening a temporary hospital in the Georgia World Congress Center. This facility is projected to have possibly 120 beds for overflow patients. Another facility in Milledgeville is currently in the works, and Piedmont Healthcare has been contracted by the state for 62 overflow beds in the Buckhead main hospital. It should be stated that the beds themselves are not the only factor in this issue, but specialized equipment and critical care physicians and nurses are also required to handle intensive care patients.

There are currently 178,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in Georgia, with 3,642 deaths. Clarke county is reporting 1,557 cases and an additional death reported in Wednesday’s numbers, bring the total to 16 deaths. 500 of those new cases have been reported in the last two weeks.

For more information on coronavirus in Georgia, visit the state health department’s website at DPH.georgia.gov for the COVID-19 Daily Status Report. You can also visit the GEMA website at www.gema.ga.gov.

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