Memorial Health doctor says severity of coronavirus cases not increasing

Memorial Health doctor says severity of coronavirus cases not increasing

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We’ve seen a rise in local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations recently.

But what does that mean for health care workers on the front line? We spoke with Memorial Health leaders who say they are now better able to handle this pandemic than they were a few months ago.

For months healthcare workers have been working to help patients diagnosed with COVID-19. While they are continually learning how to treat and fight this virus- local leaders say it was critical we never saw our area inundated with cases.

“The time that we’ve been offered in Georgia has been very beneficial for us. We have not to deal with a surge of patients that overwhelmed any health system in our region and because we’ve had the time to think through that process without having to act on it. We’ve also learned how to take care of patients in the day to day with a much safer and more effective approach,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker, Memorial Health Associate Chief Medical Officer.

While the number of cases and hospitalizations have increased from COVID positive patients in our area doctors say the severity of those facing coronavirus have not increased.

”What we are seeing is that there are less people that are having to end up on a ventilator which I am very thankful for. Hard to know really what is driving that other than I know that we have a lot more potential treatments to offer to patients early now than when we first began this pandemic.”

Memorial leaders say they can now offer convalescent plasma and Remdesivir to patients which at one time was limited. They also have rapid testing to diagnosis COVID cases, enough PPE, staff and capacity to handle a surge.

"I'm hopeful that we will not experience a surge. I do think we will see an increase number of cases that will lead to basically a new plateau of the average amount of cases that we admit to the hospital and that will probably fluctuate over time based on how we get guidance from our local government and state government."

While we are seeing fewer severe case, Dr. Thacker says this virus is still deadly. He urges people to wear a mask, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene especially as community spread persists.

The Coastal Health District is keeping track of how many COVID-19 patients each hospital has:

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.