Phoebe medical staff urge New Year's revelers to use common sense as COVID cases spike

Despite warnings against holiday gatherings, the volume of COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Health System facilities is almost 5.5 times greater than it was the week before Thanksgiving.

ALBANY — Despite warnings against holiday gatherings that southwest Georgians obviously did not heed, the volume of COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Health System facilities is almost five 1/2 times greater than it was the week before Thanksgiving.

The number of COVID patients in Phoebe facilities in Albany and Americus was at 111 Friday, only a month or so after the total had dropped into the low 20s.

“As transmission rates remain high throughout Georgia, we expect our volume to continue to increase,” Phoebe Health System President/CEO Scott Steiner said. “The greatest weapons in our fight against the virus are wearing masks and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We received our second shipment of Pfizer vaccines today at our main hospital, and we know there is significant demand from people interested in being vaccinated, as evidenced by the 1,600 calls our COVID-19 vaccine hotline received yesterday on its first day in operation. We are excited to begin providing vaccines to southwest Georgians who are 65 and older and to first responders on Monday, and we expect to administer hundreds of vaccines each day. We encourage all south Georgians — as soon as they are eligible — to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated to help put an end to COVID-19.”

As of noon Friday, Phoebe’s COVID-19 numbers were:

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 94;

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center: 17;

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

♦ Total inpatients who recovered: 1,629;

♦ Total COVID-19-related deaths at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 202;

♦ Total COVID-19-related deaths at Phoebe Sumter: 46;

♦ Total vaccines administered – 2,401.

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. Officials at Phoebe warned that 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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