AUMC overcapacity from COVID-19 holiday surge

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta University is seeing the aftermath of the holiday spike. They are now overcapacity.

Patients are being moved to safe places around campus as the hospital continues to make additional space.

Chief Medical Officer at AU, Dr. Phillip Coule says not to hesitate in seeking care, but also gauge the severity of your symptoms before heading straight to the emergency room.

Good options to take are telemedicine visits or even heading to a local urgent care.

Right now, AU has 122 COVID patients with active precautions. These are people who are not in a regular inpatient ward, which means there are more people that that aren’t tracked on the list who stay in inpatient units.

“And I’m certainly optimistic that as we vaccinate more people at risk that that’s taking another person out of the equation in the chain of transmission that that will help us get control of this,” says Dr. Coule.

He says it’s almost impossible to tell people to just stay home and do nothing, but he does advise the importance of low-risk precautions.

High risk precautions are things like going to bars and restaurants that have a lot of people and places where you take your mask off to eat or drink.

“We are in our peak census right now of 122 active on precautions COVID patients. The actual number of COVID patients in our facility is actually higher than that because we discontinued those precautions and removed them from our list,” says Dr. Coule.

Dr. Coule says despite what you might see on social media, mask wearing works. Hand washing works. And social distancing works. Following these guidelines are extremely important.

He hopes this is the worst peak that we see. It will take some time, he says, but he’s hopeful we will start to see those numbers decline.

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