As Covid-19 cases rise in Columbus local hospitals say they can handle the surge

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As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Georgia continue to climb, spokespeople for the two Columbus hospitals tell News 3 they are able to manage the increased load.

The number of hospitalizations has increased each of the last 10 days in Georgia. There are currently 1,124 people hospitalized in the state. Piedmont Columbus Regional and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare have not released local hospitalization numbers since March.

The statewide number is the highest since May 12.

“As reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health, cases of COVID-19 increased in Muscogee County through the month of May, and with the documented increase in confirmed positive cases, hospitals in our region have seen an expected increase in hospitalizations over the last several weeks,” the statement from St. Francis read in part. “Hospital capacity, particularly within specific units and departments, is incredibly fluid and changes rapidly. At this time, our hospital has adequate capacity to meet patient needs, including in critical care/intensive care.”

On Wednesday, Muscogee County reported 1,392 COVID-positive cases. That was up 51 from the previous day. There have been 39 COVID-related deaths in Muscogee County.

As the local cases have increased, Piedmont Columbus Regional reported “increases in COVID-19 positive cases in our employee population.  We have been monitoring our team members closely since early March and are working hand-in-hand with our Infection Prevention team and the Georgia Department of Public Health to perform extensive contact tracing when necessary , provide testing to any potentially impacted patients and staff members, and implement additional precautionary measures as needed. “

Piedmont Columbus Regional did not say how many of its nearly 2,500 employees were positive.

“We have a rigorous process for employee health and employee testing and continue to enforce extra levels of sanitation to ensure this is a safe environment for both our patients and staff,” the statement released late last week read.

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