COVID-19 hospitalizations are falling in CSRA, experts say

Hospitals deal with coronavirus cases.
Hospitals deal with coronavirus cases.(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2020 at 4:04 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Our local hospitals reporting some of the lowest hospitalization numbers in weeks.

In just a week and a half, numbers at three local hospitals have all gone down.

Since Aug. 14, Augusta University Health has seen a decrease of four patients. There have been 11 fewer at University Hospital and 18 fewer at Doctors Hospital.

Health officials say keeping the cases low is about two things: all of us following safety guidelines and treating patients at the right time.

For a while, it seemed like the upward trend would never end. But now there's hope.

“Everything seems to be going down,” said Dr. Ioana Chirca, director of infectious diseases at University Hospital. “We are discharging more people.”

Chirca says the numbers don’t lie. There are 66 patients in University’s COVID-19 units, the lowest number since July 10.

“This is what it does everywhere it’s been,” Chirca said. “There are hotspots coming and going. It’s in one place, and then it goes up and then it comes down.”

But Chirca says the community can take some credit. More people are being careful.

"Is it perfect? No," Chirca said. "Is it sufficient? Probably so."

“There’s likely a natural ebb and flow to the disease process itself as it spreads,” said Dr. Thomas Zickgraf, medical director of the emergency department at Doctors Hospital.

Zickgraf says health care providers are learning how to fight the disease better. This good news should be a reminder to stay cautious.

"I would say that would be a reason to continue doing it, not a reason to slow down doing it," Zickgraf said.

University Hospital experts see flu season on the horizon. They plan to offer flu vaccinations earlier. But they are breathing in the hope that they can see now.

University officials say it seems like common sense, but try to actively stay healthy this fall, take vitamins and exercise. They are hoping for a vaccine by the beginning of next year.

Local toll of the pandemic

You can follow these constantly updated coronavirus statistics every day at

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