LaGrange Hosts COVID Roundtable Update
On Thursday, Mayor Jim Thornton hosted another Facebook Live roundtable discussion with local health officials to provide updates on the status of COVID-19 in La-Grange and Troup County.
Mayor Thornton was joined by Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center President Coleman Foss, District 4 Public Health Assistant Director of Nursing Amy Fenn, and Emory Clark-Holder Clinic Physician Dr. Ken Horlander.
Coleman Foss confirmed reports that Troup County has recently spiked in the number of positive coronavirus cases. “We’ve seen in the last two weeks a pretty significant increase in the total number of COVID patients,” said Foss.
The hospital has been testing everyone coming in for procedures for a while, and the numbers have jumped to about 15-18 percent testing positive for the disease, he said.
Foss advised that they hit a peak of 85 COVID patients about a week prior, though that number has since come down.
The good news is that they seem to be handling it better. As of the time of the roundtable, only three people hospitalized for COVID were in need of a ventilator, and the hospital still has plenty of room.
“We have additional rooms in the older parts of the hospital that we can use if we need to,” said Foss.
Although the hospital is managing the spike, Foss noted that as the pandemic continues, healthcare providers are getting tired. They’re also battling to keep from getting the coronavirus themselves. Foss noted that about 40 staff members have contracted the virus.
Foss advised that the best way to help them is to wear masks and to continue to social distance.
Amy Fenn reiterated Foss’s pleas that the public continue to follow mask and social distancing guidelines.
“Public Health cannot stress enough the importance of wearing masks and social distancing. That means avoiding large crowds and parties,” said Fenn warning of the thenupcoming July 4 holiday.
“Prior to Memorial Day, Troup County was experiencing four to five new cases a day. As of [Thursday morning], over the past seven days, we’ve had 259 new cases. That’s an average of 37 a day,” said Fenn.
“This is not sustainable for the community or public health,” noted Fenn. “Public Health is really scared about what we are going to see in the next couple weeks.”
Although the warnings sound dire, all three panel members noted that Georgia’s numbers were getting better at one point, but that was when more people were following health recommendations. COVID numbers can and will drop again, but not without a concerted effort from the community.
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