Savannah hospitals see increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Coronavirus cases continue to spike across Georgia and the Coastal Empire is following that trend. Experts tell News 3 the spike is due to the lack of social distancing and not wearing face coverings.

Dr. Stephen Thacker at Memorial Health warns this is not the time to ignore COVID-19.

“There was a slight increase in the number of patients admitted with COVID-19 over the weekend,” Associate Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Health Dr. Stephen Thacker said.

Right now the Memorial Health is treating 16 COVID-19 patients. At nearby St. Joseph’s hospital, doctors are treating 17 patients while their Candler campus is treating three patients.

St. Joseph’s says they still have plenty of capacity to treat COVID-19 positive patients and PPE to protect both co-workers and non-COVID-19 positive patients who need safe treatment.

St. Joseph’s is still taking admissions from outside of Chatham County. Seven of the cases at St. Joseph’s Hospital are from outside of Chatham County.

At St. Joseph’s Primary Care and Urgent Care practices, they have tested 1,082 as of June 17, with 34 positive results. Dr. Thacker said the Coastal Empire is still in the first wave of COVID-19 cases.

“So I think we might experience several spikes in cases as we move forward in the year,” Dr. Thacker said.

Despite the amount of COVID-19 cases going up, on the campaign trail, Saturday President Donald Trump jokingly asked health experts to slow down COVID-19 testing.

“When you do testing to that extent you’re going to find more people with cases so I said to my people slow the testing down please,” Trump said.

“I think that that’s probably a misguided thought. Knowing is always better than not knowing,” Dr. Thacker said.

He said right now it’s hard to know if these past weekends rise in hospitalizations will continue to trend upward but if they do they’re ready.

“We’re prepared to meet a really high surge demand. Do I think we’ll ever reach that point I don’t,” Dr. Thacker said.

With the 4th of July weekend on the way, health officials say it’s not time to slip up and wants people to keep CDC guidelines in mind.

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