More than a third of Georgia COVID-19 deaths have come out of Albany; Phoebe officials asking for help


The Coronavirus crisis in Albany continues to grow as the death toll for Phoebe Healthcare-related patients reached 11 Tuesday afternoon.

The state of Georgia has reported 31 deaths, meaning that more than a third have come out of Albany in the southwest corner of the state.

There are 150 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Phoebe system, which includes Albany, Sumter County and Worth County. That compares to 1,026 reported cases in Georgia, as of noon Tuesday.

Most of the COVID cases are at Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany.

“Our main hospital has been more severely impacted by COVID-19 than any other hospital in Georgia, and our entire health system is one of the hardest hit in the state,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Executive Officer. “Our care teams have been able to manage this public health emergency with astonishing success, so far, but we are quickly reaching a critical mass.”

Steiner called the COVID-19 outbreak a crisis in southwest Georgia.

“And the required response will quickly exceed the resources of any one health system,” he said.

Albany is 80 miles south of Columbus. There have been only four reported cases in Muscogee County. Dougherty County has a population of about 90,000, less than half that of Muscogee County.

“We are asking other hospitals to help share the burden of this growing crisis, but some have refused to accept even non-COVID patients from our hospital,” Steiner said. “Winning the battle against this pandemic will require a coordinated and cooperative response.”

Piedmont Columbus Regional has worked with Phoebe during the crisis, Piedmont spokesperson Jessica Roberts tells News 3.

“We have accepted patients from Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany,” she said in a statement. “Moving forward, we will continue to work within the state of Georgia’s emergency response coordination system for the transfer of patients from other healthcare facilities.”

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Piedmont Columbus Regional had no patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, Roberts said.

Phoebe by the numbers:

Total Positive Results – 150

Total Positive Deaths – 11

Total Positive Patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 31

Total Positive Patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 1

Total Positive Patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 0

Total Positive Patients at Home – 107

Total Inpatients Awaiting Test Results at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 78

Total Inpatients Awaiting Test Results at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 17

Total Inpatients Awaiting Test Results at Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 1

Total Other Patients Awaiting Test Results – 1,039

Total Negative Results – 163

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