All ICU beds full as Delta variant spreads in CSRA

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta’s hospitals are getting close to becoming overwhelmed.  More than 200 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 Monday.

  • Augusta University Health: “about 70 patients,” according to Dr. Phillip Coule
  • Doctors Hospital: 39 patients
  • University Hospital: 87 patients
  • Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center: 13 patients

Dr. Phillip Coule, the Chief Medical Officer at AU Health, expects those numbers to jump within the next two weeks.

“We’ll see the numbers potentially go to double than what they currently are now,” he explains.

AU health is monitoring an additional 25 to 30 patient in other facilities through telemedicine and 25 patients in its “COVID At Home Program.”

The surge is putting a strain on staff and resources again. Like in the early days of the pandemic, emergency rooms at AU health, Doctors Hospital and University Hospital are listed as “severely” overcrowded, according to the Georgia Coordinating Center. ICU units are overflowing too.

“It is a strain on the system, and it’s not business as usual. We’re having to provide ICU-level care in non-ICU settings. We’re having to provide ICU-level care in the emergency department and recovery rooms.”

Coule stresses there is still time for people to get vaccinated. As of Monday, 32 percent of Richmond County had been fully vaccinated. Healthcare providers are working to raise that number through education in hopes of easing hesitations.

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated to help get some protection against the Delta variant,” he adds. “For those who have been on the fence, don’t delay. I would recommend getting vaccinated now.”


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