COVID-19 Surge Begins To Wane At Augusta Health

Oct 19, 2021

The surge of COVID-19 patients at Augusta Health in Fishersville is gradually starting to subside. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi has this update.

As of Friday afternoon [Oct. 15], there were 38 COVID patients at Augusta Health, down from about 70 at the hospital's peak a few weeks ago.

Dr. Clint Merrit is the medical director for population health at Augusta Health.
Credit Augusta Health

DR. CLINT MERRITT: We're seeing some improvement, but we're still in a surge that requires us to be more careful as a community.

Dr. Clint Merrit is the medical director for population health. He said they are slowly starting to open up parts of the hospital that were shut down to respond to the surge.

MERRITT: We actually are doing a little more elective procedures than we did a week ago, and we have a plan in place over the next couple weeks to start doing more elective cases, and we look each week at the volumes in the hospital -- can we open up a little more O-R space, and a little more inpatient hospital space for surgical spaces that are having elective procedures? So we will be opening up gradually.

He cautions, though, that we're still far from the state of affairs this summer, when the hospital only had a handful of COVID patients at a time, if any. But there has been an increase in people coming to get vaccinated.

MERRITT: I meet people every day who come in to get a COVID vaccine who have been thinking about it, who've had a hard time making that decision -- is it right? Do I feel good about it? Is it safe? And we want to keep going out into the community and making connections, building relationships, explaining COVID vaccines and their safety and their benefit to you and your family and your coworkers.

According to press releases, between September 15 and October 12, an additional 932 people became fully vaccinated at Augusta Health clinics.