Representatives of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) indicated that Cartersville Medical Center (CMC) had 18 COVID-19-positive patients in-house as of Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, the number of COVID-19-positive in-house patients at the local hospital had increased to 21.
“Which is bad news,” said DPH public information officer and risk coordinator Logan Boss. “And it looked like their ICUs were filled up.”
He said the department had no details on whether or not any patients are being transferred or transported out of the hospital due to limited bed space.
“We wouldn’t be privy to any details on what they would do as far as activating their emergency plan,” he said.
Bartow County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) public information officer Alex Wright confirmed the total number of COVID-19-positive patients at CMC.
“As far as their ICU beds filling up, I don’t know where those patients are, I don’t know if they’re in the ICU or just general admission,” he said. "We have reached out to [Cartersville Medical Center] and let them know we have our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) partially staffed back up, we have some guys kind of playing double roles between here and the fire department.”
Wright said the EMA continues to monitor the situation.
“According to our communications, what we’ve been able to have with those at [CMC], they are kind of doing their emergency operations stuff, as well,” he added.
He said he had no additional information on transfers, transports or bed space limitations.
“I wouldn’t be able to tell you as far as if they’re being shipped in or if they’re being shipped out,” he said. “What they send us everyday is just a general status of how many COVID-19 patients that they have.”
The EMA’s operational levels, Wright said, hinge on the numbers reported by CMC.
“If they do get oversaturated or if the levels get to a point to where they’re running out of bed space, we have communicated, basically, just working with them and trying to get plans in place if that day ever did arrive,” he said.
However, Wright said as of Tuesday afternoon, there are no plans to activate any emergency overflow plans.
“I know the Department of Public Health and the things that are coming out of the governor’s office, they’ve utilized some bases down around the metro Atlanta area,” he said. “As far as right now, that has not been communicated locally here within Bartow, there’s been no communication for that need.”
Per a press release from the Bartow County Fire Department, the EMA is currently working with faith-based community leaders to “ensure that measures are being taken to ensure that social distancing and best practices are being sought to prevent further spread of the virus.”