Augusta pediatric coronavirus hospitalizations remain low ahead of Thanksgiving


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – They’re prepared at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. But currently, no COVID-19 patients are being treated there.

“We don’t have any critically ill children from COVID right now and no children in the hospital with COVID right now,” said Augusta University Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Philip Coule.

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The children’s hospital hasn’t had a positive case since Monday.

Although, Coule said, “We still have about 30 adults that are in the hospital and about nine in the ICU.”

Coule believes overall we’re coming off a peak. He’s not the only doctor in town who thinks so.

Dr. Mark Newton, the founder of MedNow, explained, “A significant decrease since early September. Just in the last couple of months, we’ve seen an excellent decrease. Some kind of combination between natural immunity from people who’ve been infected and exposed. Then the other, a lot of people have taken advantage of getting vaccines.”

Under the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines, the time has already passed to be fully vaccinated for the holidays with Pfizer and Moderna shots. You can be fully vaccinated by Christmas Eve with a Johnson & Johnson dose but you’ll need to get the shot before December 10.

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“Will we have another surge in the winter? Certainly possible but I hope not. If experience is any guide on this, when we have a peak, we have about four to six months of these relatively low numbers before we have a peak again and that’s just due to the natural, seasonality of the disease,” said Coule.

Newton expects coronavirus testing to pick up in a few weeks.

He said, “Whatever people need to help minimize their risk, not zero, but minimize their risk of spreading anything. And also know what to do as far as maintaining their own health. Certainly, I can tell you the best thing to do, even though people disagree strongly whether the government should mandate it or whether people should lose their careers over it, but a lot of people have chosen to get vaccinated. And I think that’s a wise choice.”

Coule added COVID-19 does not affect all communities equally and does not affect all communities at the same time.

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