VALDOSTA – Local COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to grow this week.
Since Monday, COVID-19 patients being treated at South Georgia Medical Center have risen from 40 Monday to 69 Friday, according to the hospital's daily report.
The hospital has seen a steadily increasing rate of COVID-19 patients since mid-June, but it has seen the largest jumps in coronavirus patients this week.
Dr. Brian Dawson, SGMC chief medical officer, said Thursday the hospital is prepared for increased coronavirus hospitalizations.
Bed capacity for COVID-19 patients at the hospital had previously been cited as 96, according to SGMC officials, and Dawson said SGMC capacity is fluid where non-coronavirus patients could be moved to Smith-Northview if more space is needed.
Not all SGMC patients are Lowndes County residents and some patients who have been transferred from other regional hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19, according to past reports.
In Lowndes County, COVID-19 deaths increased by two residents to 17, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health daily status report.
The two Lowndes residents were an 85-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man, according to the district. It is unknown if they had underlying health conditions, but the woman had been hospitalized. It is unknown whether the man was hospitalized as of Friday afternoon, according to the district.
Additionally, 67 more COVID-19 cases were confirmed Friday in Lowndes County, according to the GDPH report.
The county has reported a total of 1,810 cases since the start of the outbreak, according to the report.
As of Friday, 105 Lowndes residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, since the start of the outbreak, according to the report.
The South Health District has performed 14,786 coronavirus tests throughout its 10 counties as of Friday, according to the district COVID-19 website.
SGMC had discharged 208 COVID-19 patients and had zero patients waiting for testing results, according to the report.
Thirty-six SGMC patients have died since the outbreak of the virus. Again, not all SGMC patients are Lowndes County residents.
For more data on Lowndes and the surrounding counties, The Valdosta Daily Times has created a database to track COVID-19 across the South Health District.
To reach the database, click the link here.