COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing here

Public Health officials report there were 138 new positive COVID-19 cases here this week, the largest one week jump in Grady County since the pandemic began last March. In addition, four new deaths of Grady County residents due to COVID-19 were also recorded in the last week bringing the total number of local people who’ve died from the disease to 32.
Grady General Hospital, which was treating 12 covid-positive patients Tuesday, is suspending visitation rights to the hospital with limited exceptions.
Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 will not be allowed to have visitors.
Exceptions to the policy include obstetric patients who may have one support person; patients at the end-of-life who may have two visitors at a time if approved by the department manager; patients with conditions that require a family member for care; minors under the age of 18 who may have one parent or guardian; and patients in the emergency department who may have one visitor at the discretion of the charge nurse.
Prior to this week, the highest jump in new local cases was the week of Aug. 12, 2020 when there were 78 new Grady County residents who tested positive, followed by Aug. 19, when the number of new cases was 76.
Surrounding counties experienced similar jumps in the last week. Thomas County had 285 new cases in the last seven days while Decatur had 101, Colquitt had 115 and Mitchell had 72.
To our South, Leon County, Florida saw 1,917 new cases in the last week, and Gadsden had 370.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 is also up in surrounding counties compared to last week, with Thomas and Mitchell counties also recording four new deaths while Decatur and Colquitt counties had two each in the last week. Leon County had 12 new deaths recorded and Gadsden had two.
While Grady General had 12 positive patients as of Tuesday, Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville had 47 and Mitchell County Hospital in Camilla had four, according to Shealy Register, spokeswoman for Archbold Medical Center, which operates the hospitals.
The number of available intensive care unit beds in the health district that includes Grady County improved slightly in the last week with 95.65 percent of the 110 such beds in the district in use, compared to 100 percent in use last week. Although, last week only 107 ICU beds were listed for the region, and this week there are 115 listed with 110 of those in use, according to public health information.
Grady County Health Department is continuing to offer free testing for COVID-19, and appointments are still recommended.
Testing here will take place at the health department on Tuesdays during the month of January between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
To register, go online to www.covid19.dph.ga.gov or call the appointment hotline, Monday through Friday, (229) 352-6567.

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