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Hit by COVID surge, hospitals here forced to divert ambulances



AUGUSTA, Ga. – As local hospitals cope with a continuing surge in COVID-19 patients, some are at times forced to place themselves off-limits to ambulances.

It’s a status called diversion, meaning ambulances need to be diverted elsewhere.

On Friday morning, University Hospital was on total patient EMS diversion due to “COVID-19 and other factors.”

Spokeswoman Revecca Sylvester said the problem was lack of available beds.

University is on a slight downward trend after seeing a peak of 140 coronavirus inpatients Tuesday. On Friday, it reported 138.

Doctors Hospital was on EMS diversion Friday. Earlier this week, it put on hold all inpatient elective surgeries as part of its effort to manage the surge of COVID-19.

Augusta University Health had been on diversion Thursday, but was accepting ambulances again on Friday. The hospital had been on diversion except for pediatrics, trauma, stroke and serious heart attack cases.

News 12 has reached out to Aiken Regional Medical Center to learn its status.