Apr. 3—ALBANY — Maybe now is not quite the time to plan that "We Beat COVID" celebration.
Despite the fact that patients at Phoebe Putney Health System facilities in southwest Georgia dropped below 20 for the first time since March of last year, Phoebe officials warned that a "possible fourth wave" of the virus has sent numbers up 20% in some parts of the country over the past two weeks.
"Earlier this week, our number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped below 20 for the first time since the first few days of our COVID battle," Phoebe Health System President/CEO Scott Steiner said. "Though the number has ticked up slightly since then, that is an exciting milestone which we hope indicates the end of the pandemic isn't too far away.
"There are, however, concerning indications of a potential fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. Nationwide, average new daily cases are up more than 20% in the last two weeks, and some states are showing alarming spikes. Together, we can avoid another surge in southwest Georgia. We need more people to get vaccinated, and we all need to remain cautious. As you celebrate Easter or Passover or enjoy spring break, we urge you to be smart and safe."
These were the COVID-19 numbers at Phoebe facilities as of noon Friday:
— Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 24;
— Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center: 0;
— Total COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center: 0;
— Total inpatients who have recovered: 2,245;
— Total COVID-related deaths at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 254;
— Total COVID-related deaths at Phoebe Sumter: 67;
— Total vaccines administered: 43,241.
The latest vaccination information is available at www.phoebehealth.com. Anyone interested in scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination at Phoebe can call (229) 312-1919.