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Hospitals are feeling the strain as COVID-19 cases rise



AUGUSTA, GA – The hospitals once again take the toll of the pandemic, as the numbers rise both among health care professionals and the local community.

“It’s been pretty steady, we have seen a lot of people testing positive,” said Dr. John Farr, chief medical officer at the hospital.

The latest numbers released by the Georgia Department of Public Health show an increase of 336 cases in Columbia County from Jan. 1-7

In Richmond County, it is an increase of 763 cases from Jan. 1-7.

As these numbers don’t include the past two weeks and this data includes only results from PCR tests, Farr says these numbers will be much higher than the last COVID-19 surge.

“The positivity rate is certainly higher for the tests than it was for the delta variant,” he said.

“We are seeing a lot more staff out this time, so we’re still being challenged with the fact of increased patient load while decreased staff load,” said Farr.

They can only hope that the surge will pass, as the CDC predicts the peak will be in the middle of this month.

“You obviously don’t know exactly where the peak is going to occur until you’ve actually seen the downside of it,” said Farr.

However, Omicron slowing down is still not impossible.

“I think it’s very reasonable to assume and maybe hope, that the surge is probably the peak. If we’re not in it, we’re certainly within the weeks away,” he said.