Local hospitals awaiting Georgia National Guard troops

Governor Brian Kemp announced recently he would deploy Georgia National Guard troops to help 11 hospitals across the state with Covid response.
Houston Medical Center

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Local hospitals are feeling the strain as Georgia feels the impact of the fifth wave of Covid.

Houston Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Stewart says the hospital is full, and it currently has more than 40 Covid patients.

Governor Brian Kemp announced recently he would deploy Georgia National Guard troops again, like he did during the fourth wave, to help 11 hospitals across the state with their Covid response.

“We’ll probably use them as we did last time to help with issues down in our emergency department,”  Dr. Stewart said. “As well as our testing site.”

Dr. Stewart says he expects troops to arrive at the beginning of next week.

He hopes they won’t have to stay as long as last time. Based on what they’ve seen from South Africa, he says the Omicron variant was more short-lived than Delta variant.

“I think their Omicron wave was only four to six weeks in length,” he said. “So we’re hoping that we’ll get a really high peak, which we’re seeing, but also a quick downshift and get over with it pretty quickly.”

Atrium Health Navicent is also one of the hospitals getting help from the National Guard. Officials there weren’t available for an interview Thursday but did send us a statement, which said in part:

“Atrium Health Navicent is awaiting details regarding allocated National Guard assistance. We are thankful for the support from the governor and from the National Guard teams who’ve provided valuable aid in prior COVID-19 surges.”

Dr. Stewart says several employees are out sick, and they’re grateful to get the extra help.

“Staffing is an issue for many, many hospitals around here right now,” he said. “And so we’re grateful for the extra help at this point. We’ll take what we can get.”

Dr. Stewart recommends people get vaccinated and get their booster shots. You can find a location to get vaccinated here.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Health, Health & Fitness, Houston County, Local News, Medical, WMGT

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