Help stop the fourth surge of Covid-19

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By Steve Porter, CEO of Piedmont Fayette Hospital

Steve Porter, CEO of Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Steve Porter, CEO of Piedmont Fayette Hospital

As many of you are aware, we are in the fourth surge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether this is due to more people gathering in large groups and taking fewer precautions — 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.

Hospitalizations continue to rise across the country, across Georgia and within Piedmont hospitals. Georgia’s positivity rate has topped 10 percent — a threshold that in the past has led to large numbers of hospitalizations of our patients.

Over the past two weeks, we have seen an alarming increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations across the Piedmont Healthcare system. When we experience these high volumes, it puts a strain on our staff and resources, both physically and emotionally.

Vaccinations, our primary tool for combating the virus, continue to lag behind the levels that leading experts say we need to achieve in order to contain the virus and prevent widespread transmission in our communities.

This means that if you have not been vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible. Given the timeframe between the two doses that must be administered 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, please talk to your family, friends and neighbors who might be on the fence about getting their shot.

Although we hear of rare cases of vaccinated individuals getting Covid-19, they are usually asymptomatic and do not require hospitalization, unlike those who are unvaccinated.

Over 95 percent of all of the patients we are seeing in the hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated. Simply put, if you get the Covid-19 vaccine, you will not be as sick as an unvaccinated person who contracts Covid-19.

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.

Currently, Piedmont Fayette is allowing each patient to have one care partner visit per day. Those visiting the Emergency Room and patients having outpatient procedures are also allowed one care partner, with the exception of minors receiving care who may have both parents/legal guardians present.

That is subject to change if the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise in the hospital and in the community.

As a reminder, all visitors, like all staff members, physicians, and volunteers, must wear a mask at all times in the hospital, regardless of vaccination status.

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 regarding masks and social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated had been relaxed, it is important for everyone to remain vigilant. When you are in situations when you don’t know if 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.

The citizens of Fayette County demonstrated a tremendous level of support for our staff during the pandemic. Your prayers and acts of kindness have been 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.

[Steve Porter has been chief executive officer of Piedmont Fayette Hospital since May 2019. A 25-year veteran in healthcare, he previously was CEO of Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, S.C.]

34 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Porter,

    Given that:

    – Approximately 3/4th of breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals are caused by the Delta variant;
    – Almost all new cases in unvaccinated individuals are from the Delta variant;
    – All current vaccines were designed to trigger an immunity to the spike protein found on the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-nCOV-2;
    – The Delta variant (B.1.617.2 strain) has mutated to include a leucine-to-arginine substitution at L452R on the receptor binding domain of the spike protein which increases affinity for the ACE2 receptor by which the virus infects cells;
    – The Delta variant has mutated to include a proline-to-arginine substitution at P681R at the S1/S2 cleavage which allows the virus to more rapidly infect cells once attached to the ACE2 receptor;
    – The Delta variant has mutated to include substitutions at D614G and T478k which along with the above two mutations reduces recognition of the S1 region of the spike protein by antibodies to the B.1.1.7 strain;

    How can anyone credibly state that the vaccines are still effective? And when can we expect vaccine manufacturers to begin distributing vaccines that actually address the multiple strains of COVID19 now circulating, and not the B.1.1.7 strain alone?

    Asking for a few hundred million friends.

    Thanks.

  2. Phil, No doubt you have read all of the pertinent articles on Yahoo so it goes without saying that you are in a better position to comment on what is good for the health of our nation than someone that, oh, I don’t know …maybe runs a hospital?

    Call the vaccine experimental if you want but we now have quite a bit of data to support the success or failure that it brings. I choose vaccine over increased risk of death.

  3. In the meantime; NBC (not FOX) reported; more than 18 percent of migrant families and 20 percent of unaccompanied minors who recently crossed the U.S. border tested positive for Covid on leaving Border Patrol custody over the past two to three weeks.

    The number of migrants is staggering; last Tuesday, CBP stopped 6,725 undocumented immigrants crossing into the U.S., according to internal data obtained by NBC News, keeping with the daily pace of July, which saw 210,000 total apprehensions, a 21-year high.

    So I’m curious; how is the Biden admistration going to ensure communities are safe from new infections and or developing COVID variants as immigrants are released into the US interior?

    • They’re not.

      We the People will be the ones inconvenienced and suffer the dire consequences of this idiot we have for President, the politicized CDC and the fear mongering national media.

      AFAIK, the border between the US and Canada is still closed …via Canada’s doing as they protect their country from potential and unpredictable sources of Covid.

      As a US citizen coming back to the US from an overseas trip, you *must* have in your possession a negative Covid test, administered and issued from the country in which you last stayed.

      Meanwhile, the Democrats plan to alter the ethnic and racial makeup of the USA continues unabated courtesy our open southern border.

      What’s even more amazing is the CDC feels it has the “authority” to issue eviction bans but stands mute to the national health threat that is the Biden Administration’s immigration policy with respect to our southern border.

      If you don’t think this Covid pandemic hasn’t been weaponized by the Democrats, all you need do is try to wrap your head around the logic (if one can use that term) of Biden and the CDC with respect to our southern border.

      • Not everyone is traveling .. How about virus spreading in community .. Also since you don`t want new Immigrants of coming in , maybe you should start doing jobs that nobody wants to do .. Get COrporations and others to stop hiring them .. Republicans had all 3 seats of power few years ago , they could passed E verify system .. You don`t hire anyone without it .. But they didn`t because they benefit from cheap Labor too . Also if you White southerners aka Trumpsters got vaccinated and didn`t die in large numbers there wouldn`t be a need for more Immigrants .. Or start producing … Simple

      • Jocko – I am very concerned about immigration policy as well.

        Much to the chagrin of the far-left constituents of the Democratic party, little has changed at the southern border since Biden was elected. Besides children being treated more humanely, about 70% of people trying to enter are turned away just as they were when Trump was in the White House. Also, those who have symptoms of COVID are not allowed freedom of movement. Of course, asymptomatic coronavirus-infected migrants are sure to get through, but this is hardly the major driver of COVID case escalation in Florida (far from the Mexican border).

        I blame Congress for the immigration problem, not either the 45th or 46th Presidents. Americans want rules for immigrants, but we also want their cheap labor. Congress is derelict in not setting down clear rules that are reasonable to be implemented given the extent of the border and the many people trying to enter. That may mean two lines – one for future citizens and one for guest workers. There may be other better solutions. However, it is unreasonable to expect the Chief Executive to set the standards since this can change whimsically. Both parties are badly handling this problem, and both had rather blame the other than to fix it (even if it demands compromise).

        • STF – Both parties are badly handling this problem, and both had rather blame the other than to fix it (even if it demands compromise).

          While I might not always agree with your commentary you are “spot-on” with your analysis. The last time Congress passed legislation was the Simpson–Mazzoli Act. (1986) Unfortunately, that act was dismantled piece-by-piece by those on the left and ignored by those on the right. Now we have a far bigger problem.

  4. BuffDriver Tucker Carlson has been vaccinated . He ranted against Covid Passport while FOx New requires them .. How Rich .. Kind of like our Local Steve Brown , complaining against va
    ccines and then turns around and get vaccine back in early April . Complains against Doctors while DOctor supports his Moocher Behind ..

  5. Phil Sukalewski … HE as a CEO has seen what is happening . ALso don`t you think He talks to Doctors .. His job is to run a Hospital , not seeing patients .. But take him out of picture 99% of Doctors recommend it .. But no you would rather trust Chinese & Russian Propaganda that spreads on Internet .. Real smart from you ..

  6. Hey BUFF dude, that is how St. Fiction operates. All his snipes reference a Fox News entity or some jewish carpenter quote – all puffed up with streaming as many Words of the Day as possible in an attempt to shade his dishonesty. Kinda sad to see some of the unsuspecting posters on this site get a warm fuzzy when he tickles their ear.

  7. When making a claim, please post your sources.
    A claim is made stating: that 70% of new infections in Israel are with previously vaccinated.

    Claims like this need context. Israel has effectively reached herd immunity with around 70% of their population as vaccinated. So at this time one would expect any new cases to be majority from vaccinated people. The context missing is that those breakthrough infections will lead to fewer deaths and hospitalizations and account for fewer cases overall. Also keep in mind that the Delta variant is more infectious than original strains.

    According to this report by the Israeli Health Department, in February 2021 they had 65,252 (95.5%) infections among unvaccinated and 3,057 (4.5%) infections among the vaccinated for a total of 68,309 (100%) infections.

    Then in June 2021 they had 257 (17%) infections among unvaccinated and 1,271 (83%) among the vaccinated for a total of 1,528 (100%) infections.

    With Israel effectively at herd immunity (majority are vaccinated), they’ve reduced total infections from Feb to June by 98% and of course the majority of those will be among the vaccinated because very few people in Israel remain unvaccinated. And as well, the vaccinated infected have a much lower hospitalization rate. In June, 14 of 257 infected unvaccinated were hospitalized (5.4%) compared to 23 of 1271 infected vaccinated were hospitalized (1.8%).

    Based on the numbers from this report from the Israeli Health Department, it is clear what the best choice is regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. The report clearly lays out the benefits of the vaccines to their citizens.

  8. Once again, we have some ill-advised “virologists” (below) weighing in with what they think from what they heard or improperly read. The fact here is that the vaccines are under EUAs and FDA approval is forthcoming. Where do you (Don) get this “considered experimental” stuff; perhaps from MTG of northern GA GQP fame?

    Nice job Mr. Porter for a timely and important reminder to all. It demonstrates common sense guidance and leadership. And to all the staff at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, keep up the good work.

  9. This is not a political debate just a contribution.

    Israel has reported 70% of its new cases are fully vaccinated. A friend of mine in Oregon who works in the medical field says their hospital is filling up quickly with people who were already vaccinated.

    Fact is there are no officially approved vaccines. All are still considered experimental.

    I went through something similar in the military when there was a panic over the swine flu. Some of us were forced to get the experimental swine flu vaccine. The only ones who got the swine flu were us.

    There are a lot of the reactions being reported, such as heart inflammation. But there are those who try to downplay it as a minority.

    The vast majority of those who get covid do not go to the hospital and recover. It is now recognized the vast majority of people listed as dying from covid did not. It was actually a secondary contributor to an already existing condition.

    So everyone has to decide for themselves. This has been turned into a political issue.

    • What? Another “can’t do anything about it” position by Don Haddix. Maybe you can do something. Heed professional healthcare professionals’ advice. You can then state you are helping with the problem rather than deferring it as a political issue. It’s only political if you make it so.

      • If you actually study all the information out there the medical field is not solidly backing the political position. There are a lot of issues with the vaccine and it is not, contrary to claims approved. It is still classified as understudy.

        I am not an expert, but I am seeing enough that says there are risks to using the vaccines. So people need to study both sides of the issue and decide for themselves.

        • Consider the options: We can accept the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer of the Piedmont Fayette Hospital who has devoted his entire professional life to healthcare, or we can embrace what Dan Haddix heard last night from Tucker Carlson. If this takes you more than 5 seconds to choose, consider yourself a moron. And if you experience a medical emergency, just google Fox News for all the answers, and don’t bother the real doctors in the Piedmont Fayette Emergency Room.

          • With all due respect, Mr Porter is not a doctor, (hehas a Masters of Health Admin) and he is advising folks to:
            – take an experimental drug not approved for general use with documented negative side effects for a higher % than those who get hospitalized from Covid for a virus with a 99%+ survival rate;
            – based on increase in cases from results where the rapid test for C-19 has been recalled by FDA since it does not distinguish between Covid and the flu (much less b/w whatever the latest variant is);
            – ignores any mention of those who have already had Covind and thus are already have more natural immunity than an experimental vaccine can provide.

            HOWEVER since the CDC director is now also in charge of rent control for the nation; why wouldn’t a non-doctor weigh in with medical advise?

          • “…or we can embrace what Dan Haddix heard last night from Tucker Carlson” – Stranger than Fiction.

            What did Tucker Carlson say last night? Certainly you must know, Stranger than Fiction. After all, you suggest the content from the previous night’s show is somehow related to Mr. Haddix’s post. Furthermore, you make a strong implication that those who take the position of Tucker as opposed to Mr. Porter are intellectually deficient. Please, Stranger than Fiction, enlighten us with facts and not brazen personal attacks. Although I am not opining about Haddix’s post, consider the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy. “The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true”.

            Have respect for your fellow citizen, stop being a keyboard warrior.

        • If true speech were an antidote, the phrase “fake news” would still have a proper meaning. People are vaccine hesitant b/c garbage posts like Don Haddix’s are making the rounds in social media circles and are not getting called out.

          The CEO of our local Hospital is literally begging our community to help their fellow man by getting vaccinated… something so simple. Yet, in this thread we do have people actively sewing doubt in the minds of readers regarding the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. And it’s not because they are experts, because the experts are saying to get vaccinated.

          Hmmmm I wonder who’s advice should we take? /s

          So yeah, if people continue putting nonsense in these threads they will continue to get called out. If you come to this thread and say the earth is flat you’re gonna have a bad time.

        • Don Haddix You are not an expert in many fields and you still spread your Chinese owned Epoch TImes Propaganda on us .. Over 300 Million of doses are given in US alone .. Few thousand deaths linked to vaccines .. Only 34 Million of people got COvid and 620 000 died .. Which odds are better .. Also pay us 20k that PTC taxpayers spent on you … We can build a small park or 20 fairy gardens and have plenty of money left over .. Imker will crush you

      • Haddix is correct. Modern, makers of the most effective vaccine available, have warned that it is much less effective against the Delta variant.

        cnbc[dot]com/2021/07/29/delta-variant-absolutely-driving-covid-breakthrough-cases-says-doctor.html

        And there are several reports that consistently report that about 70% of new COVID cases are in previously vaccinated people.

        medpagetoday[dot]com/infectiousdisease/covid19vaccine/93830

        Does this mean you shouldn’t bother getting the vaccine? Nope. you’re still better off getting it than not. But even if you’re vaccinated, you need to practice social distancing and mask wearing, not with those dinky homemade masks or with poorly worn procedure masks from the dollar store, but with certified K/N-95 masks.

        • I believe Moderna stated yesterday that Moderna vaccinated people will start needing boosters in December. Of course, the World Health Organization (WHO) wants a moratorium on boosters until more people get vaccinated. I’m waiting for the CDC to make an announcement about boosters. Yet, the FDA hasn’t fully approved a vaccine for the COVID-19, much less a Delta variant, or booster. Seems like masks and social distancing will become as natural for us wearing shoes and maintaining our “arms length personal space.”

    • DontheCon DId you read that in CCP Epoch Times …Stop lying to people . As of August 2nd , Only one of 61 Israelis hospitalized with COVID in serious condition is a fully vaccinated individual under the age of 60, Channel 12 news reported Sunday, citing Health Ministry figures.According to the report, 24 of those in serious condition are unvaccinated, while 37 are fully vaccinated. The lone seriously ill fully vaccinated person under 60 was in the 50-59 age group. Israel has similar population to state of GEorgia .. How many Hospitalizations are in Ga Hospitals at this moment .. How many of them are vaccinated vs unvaccinated .. Over 95% of them are unvaccinated ..