’17 of our COVID patients died in the last seven days’: Phoebe Putney Health System sees highest number of deaths since January

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

Albany, Ga. (WRBL) – According to officials with Phoebe Putney Health System, in the past week, 17 COVID-19 patients have died. That is the highest weekly total since January 2021, according to hospital officials. 

Hospital officials say the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital system has decreased, however it is not a good thing.

“While our number of COVID-19 inpatients has dropped this week, that is not a sign of an improving situation.  Fortunately, we have had multiple days with a significant number of discharges.  Unfortunately, 17 of our COVID patients died in the last seven days,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President and CEO

Steiner said the new version of the virus is more contagious than any previous variant. 

“The CDC says each COVID patient is now likely to spread the virus to twice as many people as in the early days of the pandemic, said Steiner. “You can reduce the risk to those around you by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask and socially distancing.”

As of Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, there 187 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals in the Phoebe Putney Health System.

  • Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital – 152
  • Phoebe Sumter Medical Center – 29
  • Phoebe Worth Medical Center – 6

The health system has expanded it capacity for one of the treatments used to fight the virus. According to hospital officials, on Aug. 26, 2021, 80 patients received monoclonal antibody infusion therapy. Officials said they expect that number to increase next week.

The treatment has been available at Phoebe North in Albany and Phoebe Sumter in Americus since early January.

Recently, the health system added an additional location on its main campus and also began offering the treatment to pediatric patients (ages 12-17). 

“This is by far the best treatment option available for people early in their diagnosis before severe symptoms develop,” said Dr, Dianna Grant, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Medical Officer. 

According to Grant, with monoclonal antibody infusion therapy, “laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight the virus.”

Grant says monoclonal antibody infusion therapy treatment “is safe and there is overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness in preventing worsening of symptoms.”

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