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Local COVID-19 numbers begin to swell

Crisp Regional now reports five patients lost to pandemic

According to Friday’s afternoon report from Crisp Regional Hospital on the healthcare system’s fight against the COVID-19 viral pandemic, five of its patients have now succumbed to the illness.

A total of 119 Crisp Regional patients, not all of whom are necessarily residents of Crisp County, have tested positive for COVID-19. 31 of those COVID-19-positive patients are hospital inpatients while the remaining 83 are outpatients, according to the hospital.

Healthcare professionals at Crisp Regional have submitted a total of 328 samples for testing. 183 tests have come back negative while 26 tests are pending. Of those 26 who are awaiting test results, four are hospital inpatients while the other 22 are waiting for test results at home.

The only positive note in Crisp Regional’s Friday report is that 24 prior positive inpatients have been sent home free of the virus since the hospital began tracking numbers in mid-March.

Crisp Regional Community Relations and Foundation Director Brooke Marshall said patients and staff alike are making the best of the situation. First responders in the community, including sheriff’s deputies, police officers, game wardens, and city and county firefighters, helped life spirits by circling the hospital’s grounds Friday morning in a silent but well-lit “parade of gratitude” followed by a barbecue lunch for hospital staff.

“It was very much appreciated. Those people put their lives on the line every day and for them to come by like they did this morning meant a lot to our staff and our patients,” Marshall said. “We appreciate Sheriff Hancock and his support and what he does to bring the community together.”

Marshall said that business as usual is still ongoing at the hospital and its satellite facilities.

“We’re still encouraging our patients to seek care here for outpatient procedures,” Marshall said. “We’re taking every conceivable step to ensure that everything is properly disinfected and safe for both our patients and our staff.”

With that said, Marshall stressed that the threat of COVID-19’s continued spread is as high as ever, and that it is critical for people to stay home whenever possible and to practice proper social distancing while out in public.

“Treat everyone that you come in contact with as if they may be infected. This pandemic is not over yet,” Marshall said.