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Houston Healthcare sees drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations

In August, Houston Healthcare had more than 100 COVID-19 patients. As of Oct. 12, there are less than 20

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Houston Healthcare is reporting a big drop in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations at both Houston Medical Center and Perry Hospital.

In August, Houston Healthcare had more than 100 COVID-19 patients. As of Oct. 12, there are less than 20 -- Tuesday's numbers show 14 people are hospitalized with coronavirus, seven of them in ICU and four on ventilators.

“Now we're still busy with other patients so it seems like that, patients that were sick and maybe not coming to the hospital because of the COVID outbreak have now gotten to the hospital because of their health problems so we are still seeing a fairly large census, but it's not all COVID right now,” said Stewart.

Chief Medical Officer Dan Stewart says they have resumed elective surgeries and as of last week, they're allowing more visitors inside.

Larry Seale drove from Gainesville, Florida to see his brother.

“I'm counted as number two for the day, so unfortunately other visitors can't come and see him,” said Seale.

He looks forward to when visitation returns to normal.

“When you visit a family member, you can certainly encourage them to get healthy and try to be there to support them and do the little things for them actually that could help relieve the nurses,” said Seale.

Stewart hopes Houston County can reach herd immunity soon to prevent a fifth wave.

“The fourth wave really smashed right in the face, so I'm fully anticipating that we are going to see another wave, this virus seems to run in cycles, at least it seems like right now about every six months,” said Stewart.

Stewart says Houston County's vaccination rate has gone up which is helpful -- around 40% of people are fully vaccinated.

Stewart worries Thanksgiving and Christmas may cause another spike.