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Pandemic milestone: No COVID patients hospitalized at EGRMC
Photo courtesy East Georgia Regional Medical Center Staff from the Emergency Department of East Georgia Regional Medical Center celebrate the milestone of having no COVID-19 patients hospitalized for the first time since May 2020.
Staff from the Emergency Department of East Georgia Regional Medical Center celebrate the milestone of having no COVID-19 patients hospitalized for the first time since May 2020. (Photo courtesy East Georgia Regional Medical Center)

After a COVID-19 patient was discharged from East Georgia Regional Medical Center Tuesday, it marked the first time in almost two years that the hospital actually had no coronavirus patients hospitalized. And no new patients had been admitted as of Thursday afternoon.

According to a release from Jaime Riggs, director of Marketing for East Georgia, prior to Tuesday, the last day there were no COVID in-patients was May 13, 2020.

 “This is a monumental day at East Georgia Regional Medical Center,” said hospital CEO Stephen Pennington. “Words cannot express how proud I am of our team of employees, medical staff providers, and volunteers. When the days were challenging, they led the way with their hope and energy. They have been our lifeline – without them, we would not have made it through this long journey.

“In addition, we are extremely grateful for the local community support and spirit that has driven us to be our best, even on the stressful days. While we know this pandemic is not over yet, this is an encouraging step forward as we continue to focus on ‘every patient, every time, always.’”

At the height of the delta surge, EGRMC had 73 COVID patients hospitalized on Aug. 26, 2021, which were the most in any single day of the pandemic. Overall, Riggs said the hospital has treated 1,422 COVID in-patients since the start of the pandemic.

Also, she said 4,249 people received their COVID vaccinations at the hospital and more than 750 outpatients were administered monoclonal antibody treatments, which helped them avoid serious COVID symptoms and potential hospitalization.

But, even with the positive news of zero COVID patients, Riggs cautioned, “Our health care team emphasizes that this milestone does not mean the pandemic is over just yet so it’s important to continue to take precautions.”

Riggs said the hospital would maintain its current visitation policy of allowing two visitors – who must be at least 16 – at a time per patient. Also, EGRMC, in accordance with guidelines from the CDC, would continue to require everyone who comes inside the hospital to wear a mask.

“We are continuously monitoring COVID cases in our community and hospital, and if the positivity rate remains low, we will revise the visitation guidelines in the future,” Riggs said. “We will continue to follow CDC guidelines in wearing masks, as we always want to keep our patients and our community safe.”

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