To best inform our communities about the state of the COVID-19 surge throughout our 11 hospitals, Wellstar Health System is providing weekly updates on our website regarding the current status of COVID-19 patients we are treating system-wide.
In efforts to keep our communities up-to-date and answer any inquiries regarding this data, we’ve answered frequently asked questions below:
- Are people without the second dose counted as unvaccinated?
Based on FDA and CDC guidelines, Wellstar considers a “fully vaccinated” person to have had either one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines with peak immunity achieved two weeks after the second dose.
A booster shot is now recommended for people ages 18 and older to enhance their protection. Young people ages 16 and 17 can also get their booster, as well. The Pfizer booster has been approved for children 12 to 15, and immunocompromised kids 5 to 11 years old.
The timing of your booster depends on which vaccine you have received and how long it’s been since you received the vaccine. Learn more.
- Why are vaccinated people still getting positive tests?
While no vaccine prevents someone 100% from getting sick, the COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and effective at preventing severe illness and death. Because a vaccinated person can still contract the virus and may have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, it’s advised that even vaccinated people still wear a mask and follow safety precautions.
- Why can’t vaccinated caregivers be allowed into the hospital?
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and new variants emerge, Wellstar locations may adjust their visitor guidelines based on the level of community spread and to protect our patients and clinical staff. You can learn more about our visitation guidelines here.
- Are all your nurses and doctors vaccinated and is that verifiable?
Wellstar Health System has mandated that all team members be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 effective October 1, 2021.
- What are the ages of the patients being reported?
We cannot share data regarding the ages of our COVID-19 patients. However, COVID-19 can affect people of any age. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot, when eligible. Learn more.
- How many of these patients have previously had COVID?
Just as we are seeing vaccinated people become infected with COVID-19, we are also seeing reinfection in those who have had a case of COVID-19 in the past.
- How many patients have died from COVID?
This information is available via the Georgia Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Daily Status Report which provides a detailed analysis of cases, hospitalizations and deaths by county, as well as other demographics.
- How many of these patients have pre-existing conditions?
Out of respect for our patients, we are unable to provide details of patients’ medical information.
- Are all these people on ventilators at the same time?
Wellstar is reporting the number of patients currently on ventilators system-wide on our website.
- Are these numbers since the beginning of the pandemic or just today?
Wellstar is reporting the current number of COVID patients in our care, daily.
- Are we testing for other respiratory illnesses such as flu, or are we assuming everything is COVID?
All COVID-19 patients have been confirmed to be COVID positive with a COVID-19 test.
- Do you administer monoclonal antibodies?
Yes, Wellstar Health System does administer monoclonal antibodies for outpatient treatment of COVID-19 patients who qualify based on emergency use authorization (EUA) and data on how variants respond to monoclonal antibodies. If you have COVID-19, contact your Wellstar medical provider to see if you are eligible for this treatment.