The news about COVID gets worse every day in Georgia, and today’s figures on hospitalizations are no exception. We’ve blown past 6000 hospitalized COVID patients to a record-breaking 6,003, worse than at any point during earlier waves of the disease.
Statewide we are at 89.1 percent capacity of inpatient beds, 95.1 percent of ICU beds, and 53 percent of adult ventilator use.
Region N, which includes Cobb County, is even worse, with 96.39 percent of inpatient beds in use, 97.3 percent of ICU beds used, and 79.75 percent of ventilators in use by patients.
The worst hit areas in the state, though, are in south Georgia, where hospital regions are reporting more ICU patients than available beds. Region I, south of Atlanta on the Alabama border, reports the number of patients needing intensive care is at 118 percent of ICU bed capacity.
Crisis in the hospitals
Georgia hospitals have been on diversion as the number of COVID patients in hospitals has increased. According to an August 26 press release from the Georgia Department of Public Health:
The current surge of COVID cases throughout Georgia is stretching hospital and EMS personnel and resources to unprecedented levels. As a result, many hospitals are having to declare themselves on diversion meaning they are temporarily unable to provide normal emergency care to patients arriving by ambulance. Diversion is a term specific to ambulance transports and is a request to ambulances to transport patients to other local facilitiesif possible.
After sending 105 National Guard medical personnel to Georgia hospitals to help with the influx of patients, Gov. Brian Kemp said:
“These guardsmen will assist our frontline healthcare workers as they provide quality medical care during the current increase in cases and hospitalizations, and I greatly appreciate General Carden and his team for their willingness to answer the call again in our fight against COVID-19. This Georgia National Guard mission is in addition to the 2,800 state-supported staff and 450 new beds brought online I announced last week, at a total state investment of $625 million through December of this year. I continue to urge all Georgians to talk to a medical professional about getting vaccinated.”