COVID-19 cases surge at Maury Regional Medical Center

·3 min read
An American flag flies at half mast  in front of Maury Regional Medical Center in December 2020. Maury Regional Health is a nonprofit regional health system serving southern Middle Tennessee through its hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, outpatient facilities and a physician practice group. With a total of 360 beds and a staff of more than 200, the care center in Columbia was founded in 1953.
An American flag flies at half mast in front of Maury Regional Medical Center in December 2020. Maury Regional Health is a nonprofit regional health system serving southern Middle Tennessee through its hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, outpatient facilities and a physician practice group. With a total of 360 beds and a staff of more than 200, the care center in Columbia was founded in 1953.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Tennessee and Columbia’s Maury Regional Medical Center is facing the brunt of the increase.

On Thursday, the local medical center that serves Maury and surrounding counties was treating 91 patients with the virus.

Of the those hospitalized patients at Maury Regional Health, 14% are being treated in the medical center's intensive care unit.

“Given the increasing numbers of patients, presenting in our primary care practices, urgent care facilities and emergency departments across the system, we anticipate that number will continue to climb,” Interim CEO and Chief Medical Officer Martin Chaney said in a press release issued Thursday.

More: COVID-19 cases skyrocket at Maury County Public Schools

Chaney said predictive modeling indicates that the current wave of COVID is not expected to peak in southern Middle Tennessee until early February.

In Maury County, the seven-day average daily case rate is 262.7 per 100,000 residents per day and the percentage positive for those who are tested is 46.3%, according to information shared by the medical center.

As of Jan. 15, there were 2,486 active COVID-19 cases in Maury County.

Chaney said the actual rate is likely much higher because many individuals forego testing or may use an at-home test that is not reported to the Department of Health.

Dr. Martin Chaney
Dr. Martin Chaney

Hospitalizations in Tennessee have increased 174% in the past four weeks for all patient populations.

During the same time period, pediatric COVID inpatients increased 535% and COVID patients requiring ICU care increased 91%.

More: New COVID-19 infections, flu continue to climb in Maury County

Less hospitalizations with omicron, but precautions still needed

Chaney and his fellow leaders at Maury Regional call on the community to help prevent the spread of illness in the weeks and months ahead.

“COVID fatigue has resulted in community members letting down their guard and gathering in close, indoor group settings without masking,” said Chaney.

“While the omicron variant hasn’t yet resulted in as many hospitalizations as the delta variant, it is important to understand that omicron is comparable to the original strain of COVID in regards to the risk for severe disease and hospitalization. We should all take measures to help reduce the rapid spread of the omicron variant through our community to avoid endangering our vulnerable neighbors, friends and family members.”

Amy Richardson, NP-C, performs a nasal swab at Maury Regional Health facility in Columbia, Tenn., on Wednesday, Jan 5, 2021.
Amy Richardson, NP-C, performs a nasal swab at Maury Regional Health facility in Columbia, Tenn., on Wednesday, Jan 5, 2021.

COVID vaccination remains available at Maury Regional Health, local health departments and retail pharmacies.

To learn more, visit MauryRegional.com/COVIDvaccine and https://www.maurycounty-tn.gov/235/Health-Department.

“When community transmission is high, it impacts the entire region, from our patients to our healthcare team and their families. We are experiencing longer wait times in many of our facilities as a result this COVID surge — as well as flu and other illnesses — and ask that the community be patient as we strive to serve their health care needs,” Chaney said.

“We also encourage everyone to be more diligent in masking and social distancing for at least the next few weeks until we reach the peak of this latest surge.”

Reach Mike Christen at mchristen@c-dh.net. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeChristenCDH and on Instagram at @michaelmarco. Please consider supporting his work and that of other Daily Herald journalists by subscribing to the publication.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Herald: COVID-19 cases surge at Maury Regional Medical Center

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