SGMC opens virus treatment center | Local news


VALDOSTA – South Georgia Medical Center opened a COVID-19 treatment center to provide an important treatment option for residents of the area who are COVID-19 positive – monoclonal antibody infusions.

The clinic will be located on the main campus in the Surgery Center Building at 2417 N. Patterson St. in Valdosta and will be open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., hospital officials said in a statement.

SGMC began offering monoclonal antibody infusions to patients who tested positive for COVID-19 but did not require hospitalization in December 2020. The 20-minute infusion has been shown to help relieve symptoms of the disease and improve recovery, hospital officials said.

“The surge in cases across South Georgia has resulted in increased demand for treatment and the COVID-19 clinic will provide convenient and safe access for patients,” hospital officials said. “To qualify for treatment, patients must have a positive test within 10 days, do not have to be hospitalized, and have some additional risk factors such as heart failure, diabetes, cancer history, advanced age over 65, immunosuppression, etc.”

Last week, SGMC performed more than 40 treatments a day in a dedicated section of the hospital. The move to the new outpatient clinic enables the providers to treat up to three times as many patients per day.

“This is just a tool that is helping us fight the tide of cases,” said Dr. Gregory Beale, pulmonologist and medical director of infection prevention and control. “Receiving this treatment in the early stages of the disease dramatically reduces the risk of hospitalization for the patient.”

This is extremely important as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has increased dramatically in the past few weeks, hospital officials said.

Another tool that is highly recommended by health system officials is COVID-19 vaccination. The system launched an awareness video campaign this week with doctors from across the community who all share a message – now is the time to get your vaccine.

SGMC has had more than 36,000 vaccinations to date and urges community members to avoid misinformation and obtain facts from trusted professionals. The system has seen an increase in vaccination appointments over the past week.

“It is a positive sign that vaccination trends are increasing; however, it is terrible that so many people get sick and, unfortunately, deaths are that motivator, ”said Dr. Brian Dawson, SGMC’s Chief Medical Officer.

SGMC is hosting a free drive-through vaccination clinic on the Smith Northview campus on Saturday, August 7th, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. SGMC continues to offer vaccines from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments are not required, but can be arranged at sgmc.org.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call a family doctor or visit a testing site. SGMC offers two walk-in test sites in Lowndes County, one on the SGMC Smith Northview Campus and the SGMC Walk-In Lab on the main campus.

For more information about COVID-19 hospital admissions, tests, vaccinations, or treatments from SGMC, visit SGMC.org or call (229) 333-1000.

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