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Houston Medical Center

03/26/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/26/2020 16:31

Houston Healthcare's COVID-19 Facilities Update

March 26, 2020

Warner Robins, GA--

We understand there is a significant concern in the community regarding COVID-19. Central Georgia hospital systems are working collaboratively to formulate the best healthcare response possible. We all are working around the clock on behalf of our patients, staff, and community to ensure we are prepared for today's needs as well as those of the future.

As of today, Central Georgia hospitals have the capacity to care for our patients. We are using sophisticated models and various scenarios to plan for what could be a worst-case surge of patients. We are working closely with the Georgia Department of Health to ensure our community's healthcare needs are being met. The North Central Health District continues to be the local point of contact for information regarding the total COVID-19 case counts and testing by county.

In a unique situation such as a pandemic, we know we can't flatten the curve on our own. That's why we continue to ask the community to do their part:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often, using either soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Do not visit the hospital unless you need care.

Houston Healthcare Response to Media Questions:

  • Total number of positive COVID-19 outpatients who have been tested:

We are not testing in an outpatient setting.

  • Total number of inpatients awaiting results from a COVID-19 test

We will not be providing the exact number, but we do have inpatients currently awaiting results. This number will change often and we will not be giving daily updates.

  • The number of available ICU beds vs. the total number of ICU beds:

Houston Healthcare has 21 total ICU beds. We are planning for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients and could add more, but we are not seeing it yet. Our census is constantly changing with admissions and discharges. We are not, going to be giving daily updates.

  • The number of available ventilators vs. the total number of ventilators:

Houston Healthcare has 26 total ventilators; due to constantly changing admissions and discharges the number available at any given time fluctuates.

  • What elective surgeries are currently being performed at Houston Healthcare? Why? How many per day?

Consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), our physicians are postponing elective surgeries and procedures. They are NOT postponing surgeries where a delay might negatively impact a patient's health or turn their situation into an emergency. Case-by-case decisions are being made by our physicians. They are best able to determine any risk posed by delaying surgery for an open-ended, unknown amount of time. The goal is to balance the short and long-term health of our patients while preserving personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients.

  • Where are overflow care areas being prepared?

We are planning for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients and have identified potential overflow areas at alternative locations, but a surge has not occurred as of today. We still have substantial capacity.

Additionally, EMA is responsible for overflow sites county-wide and they partner with government and state officials for that; check with them for more information.

In regards to the questions below, the Georgia Department of Public Health is tracking testing statistics statewide and can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

  • The number of people tested for COVID-19.
  • Total number of negative results from COVID-19 tests.