Local hospitals react to new CDC guidelines, warn of 5th Covid surge

According to Dr. Duke, there's now a rolling seven day average of more than 7,000 positive Covid cases a day across Georgia.
Piedmont Macon

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— The CDC updated quarantine guidelines Monday. They shortened the recommended isolation time for asymptomatic people with Covid-19, from ten days to five days. The CDC says after the isolation people should wear a mask for five days.

If you still have symptoms following a five day isolation, continue to stay home until you feel better. After you starting feeling better, then begin the five day period of wearing a mask post isolation.

Local hospitals like Houston Healthcare, say its making adjustments to follow CDC guidelines.

“Especially for healthcare workers that will help us a little bit in case workers do get sick. It’s a little bit different for the workers than it is for the general population. Healthcare workers should still be quarantining for about 7 days,” he said.

Dr. Sandy Duke, Chief Clinical Officer for Atrium Health Navicent, says he thinks we’re seeing the beginning of a fifth surge. According to Dr. Duke, there’s now a rolling seven day average of more than 7,000 positive Covid cases a day across Georgia.

He says their emergency room and urgent care centers are very busy. While a few of those patients require admission, they do expect an increase in hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

“The word we’re hearing is this new variant omicron requires less hospitalization but the jury is still out on exactly what that will mean as we see significantly increased numbers,” he said.

Piedmont Macon Chief Operating Officer, Scott Strong, says the hospital continues to monitor the numbers closely. While they’ve seen positive cases double in the last week, it hasn’t translated to hospitalizations.

He says they’ve been in a continuous state of preparedness by limiting visitation, making sure to use PPE, and limiting in person meetings. While they’re also following the new CDC guidelines, the hospital has modifications in place.

“Those patients that are immunocompromised, those that are suffering from cancer and those kinds of things are highly susceptible to infection so for those situations we’re not following the 5 day quarantine. We’re actually taking the extended period and not exposing those folks,” he said.

Dr. Stewart says the trend of this variant shows more children being hospitalized. Currently, most of the patients are in the Atlanta area. He says even though the hospitalizations haven’t reached Middle Georgia, it might not stay that way much longer. He recommends anyone who can get their vaccinate, should.

“Their older siblings that are above 5 and their teenage siblings, and their parents, and their grandparents can all get their vaccines and their boosters,” he said. “So there’s no reason why they need to be unduly exposed.”

To find where you can get tested for Covid click here, and to find a vaccine location click here

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