ALBANY — Not since April has facilities in the Phoebe Putney Health System seen COVID-19 numbers that the hospital is seeing now in the wake of the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s celebrations.

As of noon Tuesday, Phoebe facilities in Albany and Americus housed 122 COVID patients, 103 in Albany at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and 19 in Americus at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.

“We have had double digit COVID-19 hospital admissions 10 out of the last 14 days, and our system is now caring for more COVID-19 patients than at any time since April 2,” Phoebe Health System President/CEO Scott Steiner said in a news release. “The troubling difference is that back then, our numbers were declining rapidly. Today, we remain in the middle of a significant surge.

“As we continue to expand our capacity to care for the growing number of COVID-19 patients throughout southwest Georgia, we have re-opened the modular hospital built by the state on our Phoebe North campus last spring. This morning, we were caring for five of our lower acuity COVID-19 patients there, with the ability to expand as needed.”

Phoebe’s COVID-19 numbers at noon Tuesday included:

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 103;

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center: 19;

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center: 0;

♦ Total inpatients recovered: 1,675;

♦ Total COVID-19-related deaths at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 208;

♦ Total COVID-19-related deaths at Phoebe Sumter: 47;

♦ Total vaccines administered: 3,151.

Steiner said Monday’s first-day expansion of COVID-19 vaccines administered to persons 65-over was outstanding.

“Yesterday, we began offering COVID-19 vaccines to southwest Georgians 65 and older,” he said. “The first day of the expansion of Phase 1A was outstanding. To date, we have administered 3,151 vaccines, and we expect that number to increase substantially each day this week. We know we still have a long road ahead of us, but we are confident vaccinations will get us to our ultimate destination, and we encourage those who are eligible to be vaccinated to schedule an appointment.”

The call volume to the Phoebe COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline has been extraordinarily high. Phoebe has devoted significant resources to the vaccination effort and is working to answer every call and return every message. Currently, only health care workers, first responders and those 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. Southwest Georgians in those categories can call (229) 312-1919 to request a vaccination appointment at Phoebe hospitals in Albany, Americus and Sylvester.

No walk-ins will be accepted, and those who do not currently qualify to receive the vaccine under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Department of Public Health guidelines should not attempt to schedule appointments at this time.

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