Update: Augusta Health COVID cases, hospitalizations near record levels

Augusta HealthOver the 24 hours preceding 9 a.m. on Thursday, there were 112 new positive COVID-19 cases diagnosed through Augusta Health testing sites, the second highest daily positive total during the pandemic.

The highest daily total was 118 on Aug. 29.

The current inpatient COVID-19 census is 67 and increasing daily. According to a release, Augusta Health anticipates that the local surge will continue through the end of September, and that the hospital will reach a census of more than 100 inpatient COVID-19 patients.

Generally, about 20 percent of the COVID-19 patients are critical care/ICU level patients.

Very sick, high acuity patients like COVID-19 patients require more resources—both technical and staff—to provide the care they need.

Augusta Health’s predictive models and projections are also used to create a detailed Surge Plan to address the increase in both positive cases and admission of COVID-19 patients to the hospital.  A dedicated team is focused on Surge Planning and adapt on a daily and even hourly basis.  Some of the steps recently taken as part of the Surge Plan:

Temporary closing of facilities or departments so staff and space can be reassigned.

The Skilled Nursing Floor and other units have been temporarily closed and converted for COVID care. The number of ICU beds has been increased.

Surgeries have been reduced to 40-50 percent of the usual volume and staff and resources redeployed. All necessary surgeries are completed and medical staff is consulted to prioritize other surgeries.

Additional resources have been provided to Augusta Health in case they are needed. These include a Base X tent that has been erected outside the Emergency Department and access to a temporary morgue trailer.

To date, they have not been used.

This is an urgent situation that is fluid and dynamic. Many in the community are asking how they can help.

The answer: Please vaccinate, wear masks indoors even if vaccinated, wash hands frequently and stay socially distant from others when possible.

COVID vaccinations are the still the most effective and lasting way to prevent COVID infections in our community, and the best defense against serious illness and death.

Community-based clinics

  • Tuesday, Sept. 14:  Blue Ridge Community College Houff Student Center. The clinic will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Walk-ins welcome until 1 p.m. This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic.  Anyone age 12 and older may receive Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine available to those age 18 and older and administered if available.  The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Community organizations that would like to partner with Augusta Health for a Vaccination Clinic can contact VaccinationTaskForce@augustahealth.com for more information on the requirements.

Large on-campus vaccination clinics

Appointments are preferred for clinics.  Walk-ins are welcome.

Go to vaccinate.augustahealth.com to view the links and schedule an appointment.  Information about new clinics, the links and the criteria for each link, are posted as available.  On-campus clinics for the remainder of this week are:

  • Thursday, Sept. 9: After school/after work clinic hours for those are unable to come during the day.  The clinic will run from 3:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Walk-ins welcome until 6 p.m. This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic.  Anyone age 12 and older may receive Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine available to those age 18 and older and administered if available. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com
  • Friday, Sept. 10: Pfizer/Moderna Third Dose Booster Clinic. For moderately and severely immunocompromised only.  The clinic will run from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. It must be at least 28 days since the second dose of vaccine.  Please bring Vaccination Record Card or record of previous vaccination.  The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14: Pfizer/Moderna Third Dose Booster Clinic. For moderately and severely immunocompromised only.  The clinic will run from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. It must be at least 28 days since the second dose of vaccine.  Please bring Vaccination Record Card or record of previous vaccination.  The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15: After school/after work clinic hours for those are unable to come during the day.  The clinic will run from 3:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Walk-ins welcome until 6 p.m. This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic.  Anyone age 12 and older may receive Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine available to those age 18 and older and administered if available. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com
  • Thursday, Sept. 16: After school/after work clinic hours for those are unable to come during the day.  The clinic will run from 3:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Walk-ins welcome until 6 p.m. This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic.  Anyone age 12 and older may receive Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine available to those age 18 and older and administered if available. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com
  • Friday, Sept. 17: Pfizer/Moderna Third Dose Booster Clinic. For moderately and severely immunocompromised only.  The clinic will run from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. It must be at least 28 days since the second dose of vaccine.  Please bring Vaccination Record Card or record of previous vaccination. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com.

Vaccination Call Center

Not everyone has access to the internet.  Those who need assistance to schedule should call Augusta Health’s Vaccination Call Center at 540.332.5122.  The Call Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. to answer questions and help to schedule vaccination appointments.

Homebound patients are being vaccinated through a pilot program with Central Shenandoah EMS.  Contact the Vaccination Call Center for more information.


augusta free press news
augusta free press news