Candler County Hospital remains on COVID diversion, which means beds dedicated for the pandemic are full as of press time Tuesday.
What that does not mean, however, is that the hospital is unable to care for anyone who needs to be treated.
“We are not refusing patients,” said Marty Ray, director of public relations for CCH. “We are just trying to figure out how best to place them. We evaluate every patient individually and make decisions that are best for the patients.”
The hospital has four ventilators and eight rooms dedicated to COVID-19 inpatients. All of these are presently filled with COVID inpatients.
“The hospital has seen an increase in COVID-19 patients,” Ray said. “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources have been utilized to protect both staff and patients. However, PPE availability has been consistent with our needs. PPE resources are monitored on a daily basis and we do not at this time have a shortage.
“While I can’t predict the future, CCH does not anticipate a shortage of PPE in the immediate future based on current availability.”
Presently, CCH is working in collaboration with Augusta University Medical Center through a critical care telemedicine program where patients are seen by critical care providers at Augusta University Medical Center which enables CCH to treat COVID-19 patients with the best protocols to help facilitate a speedy recovery.
At press time, CCH was planning for three discharges from the COVID-19 unit and will continue to monitor, evaluate and treat patients based on their severity.
Vaccines available for front-line workers
On Monday, the hospital began administering COVID-19 vaccinations to front-line healthcare workers and first responders in Candler County.
“This has been done on a volunteer basis,” Ray said, “and an opportunity was given to all Candler County first responders. To clarify some questions, the vaccine has a limited shelf life and logistically some decisions have to be made in real time. CCH will continue to work to make sure all personnel who choose will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Vaccine distribution for the general public
he hospital is presently working with State and Federal programs to facilitate the distribution of vaccines for the general public.
“Currently, State and Federal regulations outline who can receive the vaccine,” Ray said. “This is a fluid process and CCH will make every effort to participate in the vaccine distribution process. Once vaccines are available for community distribution, Candler County Hospital will make them available through Candler Medical Group.”