COVID-19 cases are starting to level across Augusta region

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We are all looking for some good news right now, and seeing COVID-19 case numbers plateau is good news, but our hospitals are still fighting off the latest spike.

For weeks, our hospitals have been under pressure. But now, they might have a chance to catch their breath.

We’re plateauing. But we are plateauing at a high number.”

Dr. Loana Chirca, medical director for infectious diseases at University Hospital is still unsure if that's actually good news.

“I think if you are being optimistic, yes,” she said. “The degree of severity has not gone down as far as we can tell.”

New data from the Georgia Department of Public Health shows case numbers have decreased seven percent statewide last week.

And the U.S., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 22 percent decrease in cases over the past two weeks, compared to the two weeks prior.

“The positive side of that I think is that it is a plateau over the three to four weeks we have remained about at that level,” said Stephen Goggans of the Georgia DPH.

But no one is close to declaring victory just yet.

University's hospitalization numbers are hovering in the 80s. And at Augusta University Health, there's 70 COVID-19 patients and 28 in the ICU.

“Getting complacent is what caused this peak, and now we’ve got to learn to coexist with COVID-19,” said Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer at Augusta University Health.

To Coule, it seems the community is doing better with that. The overall transmission of the disease is going down.

“People are starting to get the message about wearing masks, washing their hands and watching their distance,” he said.

Doctor’s Hospital told News 12 that they are still seeing a slow, but steady increase. Health officials across the area say now isn’t the time to relax -- it’s the time keep pushing these numbers lower.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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