Phoebe COVID hospitalizations rising to April 2020 levels; Albany hospital CEO confounded by ‘deniers, doubters’

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ALBANY, Ga. (WRBL) — The Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany now has more hospitalized COVID-19 patients than at any time in the pandemic since April 2020, the hospital announced on Friday.

There are 113 hospitalized at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.

“Today, we are caring for 133 patients in our COVID-19 units, and five of our COVID patients died in the week,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President and CEO in a news release Friday afternoon. “Yesterday, we officially exceeded our peak from the last major surge over the winter, meaning we had our highest number of COVID-19 inpatients since April 2020 when Albany was one of the worst pandemic hotspots in the world.”

Albany got hit early and hard by the virus in March and April 2020.

Steiner is confounded by the fact that cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again in Dougherty and surrounding counties.

“I can’t comprehend why – after fighting this war for 18 months, with people still dying and with critically ill patients filling our COVID units – we’re still having to work to convince people of the seriousness of what our tireless teams are dealing with every day,” Steiner said. “If only the deniers and the doubters could spend a shift working alongside one of our ICU nurses or respiratory therapists. Maybe then, they would believe. You want to show your support for healthcare heroes and do something good for our community? Get a vaccine and put on a mask.”

Recently, south Georgia hospitals have found it necessary to perform emergency c-sections on a number of women critically ill with COVID-19, to give them and their infants the best chance of survival, according to the news release.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There is no evidence that COVID vaccines are dangerous for most pregnant women or their babies,” said William Sewell, MD, Phoebe Putney Health System Medical Director of Women & Children’s Services in the news release. “There is ample evidence showing how dangerous COVID is to them. Pregnant patients with COVID infection are suffering with more severe disease and more life-threatening complications during this delta variant surge and we urge them – and all eligible Georgians – to get vaccinated,”

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