COVID-19 roundup: University coronavirus inpatients dip to single digits; shot clinics, free rides offered

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For the first time in nearly a year, University Hospital is reporting a COVID-19 inpatient count in the single digits.

As of Monday morning, the Augusta hospital system had nine COVID-19 inpatients, according to spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester. June 2020 was the last time the count was that low, according to Sylvester.

In the past 72 hours, the hospital system discharged five COVID-19 patients and admitted two.

It has cared for 2,471 hospitalized COVID-19 patients since March 1, 2020.

Partially as a result of the low COVID-19 patient count, University’s Summerville campus on Wrightsboro Road currently has no inpatients, according to Sylvester.

“For some time, the only inpatients on that campus have been COVID-19 patients. As the number of COVID-19 inpatients decreased, we were able to bring those patients to the main campus to maximize our staffing,” Sylvester told News 12.

The Summerville campus continues to be open for outpatient services.

Although there are no inpatients there today, “that will change when we need it to place patients,” Sylvester said.

The emergency department at the campus has not been operating for some time. Sylvester said the department was converted to a prompt-care site last year because of low volume, but the prompt-care clinic ended up closing “because those volumes were almost non-existent.”

A look at vaccination clinics this week

  • Augusta Transit will host a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic this week, an transit riders, walk-ups and drive-ins are welcome. Christ Community Health’s mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic will visit the Broad Street Transfer Center on Thursday. It will be at the center, 1546 Broad St. at Greene Street, from 1-6 p.m. The free clinic is open to anyone who has not received a COVID-19 vaccination. The public will be given the choice of the two dose Moderna vaccine or one-dose Johnson & Johnson. Personal IDs are not required but preferred. All who require a vaccination should allow 15 minutes for check-in and must wait at the transfer station for 20 minutes after receiving the vaccine.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Aiken outpatient clinic will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday at 951 Millbrook Ave. in Aiken. The one-day clinic will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one shot for full vaccination. Veterans (including those not registered for VA health care) and caregivers and spouses of Veterans can make an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccination by calling 706-733-0188, ext.3634, 3632, 3265, or 3613. Walk-ins are also welcome, although appointments are recommended to avoid possibility of longer wait times.

Free rides to get a shot

  • Starting today, Uber is offering up to $25 off trips to and from vaccine sites. If your vaccine requires two doses, the discount would apply to each leg of the trip. After you have booked an appointment (many vaccination sites require one) and you’re ready to ride to or from your vaccination open the Uber app and tap “Vaccine”; tap “Get your free ride” between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. through July 4; enter the ZIP code of your appointment to find the location you are going to or coming from; select your provider location and your ride option, free up to $25 each way. Your drivers will be paid in full, but you are welcome to give them a tip.
  • Meanwhile, Augusta Transit wants to remind the public that all bus rides for any purpose, including vaccinations, remain free in the months of May and June. However, the wearing of facemasks will be required while riding any bus and at the Broad Street Transfer Center. Eating or drinking are not permitted on any Augusta Transit bus, and the wearing of masks will be enforced while riding.

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