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Local health leaders hope COVID-19 decline continues despite second round of holidays



AUGUSTA, Ga. – Inside hospitals across the CSRA, COVID-19 numbers have been dropping. And they are down more than half since Augusta’s peak several weeks ago.

AU Health says the drop in COVID-19 cases so far has been impressive. But health officials are crossing their fingers hoping that it will continue.

“It does seem to be a sustained fall in both the number of cases and very importantly the number of individuals hospitalized,” Dr. Rodger MacArthur with AU Health said.

There were 54 patients today at AU Health, and Dr. MacArthur says that’s simply because the big holiday season is over and vaccinations are going up.

But the community is coming off two busy weekends: the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

“I think the concern about Super Bowl weekend is past us. We didn’t see a big increase in cases,” MacArthur said.

Which is good news. As for Valentine’s Day, new research is indicating there’s likely less spread inside restaurants. Rather close family gatherings are an issue.

“People aren’t wearing masks when they are sitting around the table together. If they are wearing a mask in their house, then they are taking it off when they get together to eat,” MacArthur explained.

University Hospital has 68 COVID-19 patients seeking treatment and is urging the community to keep up the great work.

“If we can just focus on keeping the numbers heading in the right direction, that gives every healthcare provider a little bit of a break,” Laurie Ott with University Hospital said.

A much-needed break- as positive news is coming on both fronts of the fight against covid-19.

“We don’t want another setback,” Ott said.

Our hospitals continue to ask everyone: wear a mask, social distance, and avoid large indoor gatherings.

They say if we do that, cases will continue to drop.

As for vaccination efforts, University Hospital says they will be having second dose vaccination clinics this week. They say the vaccine supply has been inconsistent.