Protect Yourself Against Fourth Surge of COVID-19

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By Robert Miller, M.D., CMO of Piedmont Newnan Hospital

As most of you are aware, the metrics we use to track the prevalence of COVID-19 are going up across Georgia – both the number of cases and the percentage of those tested who receive a positive result – which means that the number of COVID positive inpatients in our hospitals is also increasing. Whether this is due to the July 4 holiday weekend or the Delta variant, or some combination of both, the result is the same: we need everyone to continue doing everything they can to protect themselves, their friends, and their family.

This means that if you have not been vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible. Given the timeframe between shots for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, as well as the number of days before all three vaccines reach full efficacy against the virus, the time to act is NOW.

If you have been vaccinated, this is also the time to talk to your family, friends and neighbors who might be on the fence about getting their shot. Nearly all of the patients in the hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. While there have been a few cases of the disease breaking through the vaccine, most of these have been asymptomatic or mild cases of the illness. Simply put, if you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you will not be as sick as an unvaccinated person who contracts COVID-19. And those we are seeing in our hospitals are trending younger.

You can find all the information you need on the COVID-19 vaccines, including answers to frequently asked questions, at piedmont.org/covid-19/vaccine.

Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone to continue to practice the 3 W’s; wash your hands, wear a mask, and watch your distance. While CDC guidance has been relaxed regarding masks and social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated, when you are in situations when you don’t know that everyone is vaccinated, the safest route is to practice all three. It is also safer to attend activities outdoors when possible and to avoid crowds indoors.

Coweta County has demonstrated a fantastic level of support for our staff during the pandemic. Your prayers and acts of kindness are appreciated more than you’ll ever know. What we need more than anything right now is for everyone to take COVID-19 seriously, get vaccinated, and help us end this surge of the pandemic.

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