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After months of a decline in new COVID-19 cases, health officials have reported a rise in local cases and positive inpatients patients at Coffee Regional Medical Center. CRMC officials announced a new visitation policy due to the rise, as well as the hospital moving back into the "Elevated Risk" level.
CRMC reported ten positive inpatients on Thursday night, with 12 being under their care the previous day. The daily update also shows a 15.29% positive rate, 222 total COVID related deaths that occurred at the hospital, and 2,227 total COVID-19 positive inpatients cared for by the facility since their first case in 2020.
According to CRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Vicki Lewis, while local cases have increased over the last few weeks, none of their current patients are critically ill. However, the rise in cases has led CRMC to move into the "Elevated Risk" environment and update its current visitation policy.
Currently, only one designated visitor is permitted in most areas, with the visitor being allowed to stay overnight. However, visitors who leave the facility after designated visiting hours from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. will not be permitted to re-enter the building. One visitor is also allowed when necessary for outpatient procedures. While masks have only been encouraged, not required, at the hospital for some time, masks are once again required to be worn by hospital staff and visitors.
Lewis told DouglasNow, "We are encouraging those with symptoms to be tested and, if positive, to isolate themselves from others, especially the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. We continue to find that those vaccinated and contract the virus have milder symptoms and recover in shorter periods."
As of July 28, the Georgia Department of Public Health showed 92 new cases in Coffee County over the last two weeks, with 8,391 cases reported since the pandemic began. The data also showed a total of 229 COVID-19 deaths and 1,095 hospitalizations since 2020.
Since May, Coffee County's vaccination rate has increased, with data showing 46.76% (19,660) of locals receiving at least one dose, with 41.17% of citizens being fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 tests are available to anyone showing symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath at the CRMC Walk-In Clinic. The clinic is open every day from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Vaccine appointments can be made at several local and chain pharmacies, and the Coffee County Health Department is located at 1111 West Baker Highway. To schedule an appointment at the health department, call 855-473-4374.