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[VIDEO] Joint City and County COVID-19 Special Called Meeting

September 2, 2021–7:20 p.m.


Representatives of Rome’s medical community gave a COVID-19 update to members of the Rome City and Floyd County Commissions during a joint meeting Thursday night at the Rome City Auditorium.

Dr. Ken Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Floyd, reported the hospital had 126 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday morning.

“We are currently housing 57 ICU patients in our facility,” he said.  “We normally have 37 beds, but the state placed a building out in front of our hospital that you see in the parking lot.  It has 20 beds, and we are using them as ICU beds.”

Dr. Jones added that there were 2 COVID-19-related deaths at Floyd in July.  That number jumped to 28 in August.

Dr. Ed McBride, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Informatics Officer at Harbin Clinic said there are people dying from a vaccine-preventable illness.

“We can prevent unnecessary death and suffering because that is not the only thing that occurs with COVID,” he said.  “There are long-term side-effects and complications that we are already beginning to see in our outpatient clinical setting for folks who have had COVID, been hospitalized, and gone home.  They’ve had long-term lung effects, long-term kidney effects, and the like.”

Dr. Sheila Julie Barnes, Chief Medical Officer at Redmond Regional Medical Center said the hospital is facing challenges with staffing.

She said seven to eight nurses are leaving every week.

“We were able to get support from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, in the form of nursing staff, but we have been denied at Redmond on this particular surge,” Barmes added.  “That has left us in a very tight scenario as far as staffing goes.”

Everyone on the panel agreed that the best hope for getting out from the grips of the pandemic is vaccinations.

You can view a replay of the entire meeting below.