ALBANY, Ga. (WRBL) – Phoebe Health has moved to open an additional coronavirus intensive care unit and consolidated its emergency services in Albany as it refines its ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response.
Now, the North Campus of Phoebe’s hospitals in Albany has opened a 12-bed ICU and started taking patients Monday morning. The North Campus, on Palmyra Road, is just 1.5 miles from their main hospital in Albany.
A Phoebe spokesperson also says two 15-bed general COVID-19 medical units will also open at the North Campus. One of those units will be able to immediately transition to an ICU if more critical care capacity is needed, according to Phoebe.
“We will continue to expand our COVID-19 capacity at Phoebe North in phases over the next few weeks. That includes a total of 101 beds inside the hospital and a 24-bed modular unit being constructed by GEMA in the back parking lot. We hope we won’t need all those resources, but we will be well-prepared, if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in Georgia,” said Joe Austin, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO.
Phoebe will also be relocating its drive-through coronavirus testing site to the emergency center at Phoebe North, and will consolidate all emergency services to the main campus emergency center on April 22.
“Our drive-through testing site has been incredibly successful. We have collected swabs from around 2,200 people at our initial location behind Phoebe North, but as we move further into Spring, we have had to shut down operations for a couple of days due to stormy weather, and hotter temperatures are creating challenging conditions for our collection teams. By moving drive-through testing to the Phoebe North Emergency Center, we can operate at full capacity in a safer facility using fewer staff and shift those resources to treating our inpatients,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Executive Officer.
Those seeking testing for coronavirus will still need to call the Phoebe Coronavirus Hotline for initial screening and to set up appointments.
Patients can call 229-312-1919 to begin that process. Once an appointment is set, patients will enter the testing site from 14th Avenue, stop at the ambulance bay for swabbing, then leave through the parking lot exit.
The testing process is set this way to “ensure maximum safety and reduce infection risks,” according to Phoebe Health.
Phoebe will expand its service hours at the Community Care Clinic across the street from its main campus emergency center to 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.