Doctors concerned about delta variant in Middle Georgia
This comes several weeks after Piedmont Macon announced it had zero COVID patients.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Covid cases are on the rise at Middle Georgia hospitals.
This comes several weeks after Coliseum, now Piedmont Macon, announced it had zero COVID patients. Hospital leaders didn’t give an exact number of COVID patients they have right now but did say the number of patients has doubled in the last week.
Dr. Derin Ademiluyi, a Resident Physician at Piedmont Macon, says the majority of patients he has seen are not vaccinated, with many in their 20s and 30s. Dr. Ademiluyi says he’s concerned about the delta variant spreading, because it’s highly contagious. He urges people to get vaccinated.
“There’s a lot of things going around about the vaccine,” Dr. Ademiluyi said. “But one thing I can say is I’ve seen more people unvaccinated coming back with COVID than people who actually got the vaccine.”
Chief Medical Officer with Atrium Health Navicent, Dr. Patrice Walker, says they have around 70 COVID patients at the Medical Center in Macon. She says that number was in the low teens about two weeks ago.
“I think unfortunately we became complacent,” Dr. Walker said. “And also, we just didn’t have enough people taking advantage of the biggest tool we have, and that’s vaccination.”
Michael Hokanson, the Public Information Officer with the North Central Health District, says there is no information on how many cases of the delta variant are in Georgia right now. According to the CDC though, out of about 500 sequences, it found 40% of those are the delta variant.
According to Hokanson, the delta variant is about 50% more transmissible.
“At this time, the majority of new hospitalizations, deaths serious outcomes of Covid-19 are in the unvaccinated group rather than the vaccinated group,” Hokanson said.
Dr. Ademiluyi says he believes another surge of COVID, similar to what we saw in the beginning of the pandemic, is coming soon. He says following protocols like wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding large crowds will help curb the spread of the virus.
“The whole thing about this is to stop the spread,” he said. “If we can stop the spread, even the surge we’re talking about, we might not get to that point if we can stop the spread.”
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, more than 6,000 new cases were reported Tuesday. There were also 21 new deaths and 167 new hospitalizations.