Lunneborg says partial vaccination rate in Sumter County up by 2%, but more vaccinations needed

Published 5:12 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

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By Ken Gustafson



AMERICUS – In her weekly COVID update that was streamed on the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Facebook Page on Friday, August 27, Phoebe Sumter CEO Brandi Lunneborg stated that the partial vaccination rate in Sumter County has increased by 2 percent since her last update a week ago, but added that she would like to see that rate go up by 10 to 15 percent over the next few weeks so that the vaccination rate throughout the community can get to 70 percent so that the spread of the COVID-19 Delta Variant can be halted.

“The contagious Delta Variant is here and it is spreading very quickly,” Lunneborg said. “It spreads twice as fast as everything else we’ve seen and that’s what’s driving the higher numbers for us overall as a community.”

Lunneborg went on to stress the importance of wearing masks indoors and in large crowds outside. That includes even those who have been vaccinated. She stated that those who wear masks will not only protect themselves, but those around them and that people should continue to practice social distancing whenever possible. “It’s still the best way to avoid being sick other than getting vaccinated,” Lunneborg said.

Lunneborg went on to remind the community that Phoebe Sumter will be hosting another vaccination event on Saturday, August 28, at the Allen Chapel, which is located at 132 Bumphead Rd. The event will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there will be opportunities for those who have not been vaccinated to get the vaccine. Appointments for vaccinations at the event can be scheduled by calling 229-312-6963, but walk-ups are welcomed as well.

Lunneborg went on to say that if any organization or church would like to schedule a similar vaccination event, Phoebe Sumter will be glad to work with them in doing so. All they need to do is call the hospital’s Director of Community Relations, Marcus Johnson, at 229-931-6812. According to Lunneborg, there will be many more events coming up which will give opportunities for people to be vaccinated.

Lunneborg also stated that Phoebe Sumter continues to provide the Monoclonal Antibody Treatment (MAT), but that the hospital is experiencing a very significant increase in the amount of patients wanting to undergo the treatment, which means that it will take somewhere between 24 to 48 hours before one can get an appointment.

“We’re doing our best to meet the demand,” Lunneborg said. She added that those who would like to undergo the MAT should call their healthcare provider early because they need referrals within 10 days. “We want to insure that everybody who is eligible can get that treatment,” Lunneborg said. “It is the best thing we can do to reduce hospitalizations for anybody who is positive with COVID.” She added that the hospital has done over 200 MATs in the past two weeks.

In closing, Lunneborg reiterated that the uncontrolled spread of the virus continues to be the hospital’s #1 concern and stressed the importance of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and, most importantly, getting vaccinated. She also wanted to thank all of the people who have sent food, cards and gifts to the hospital and that it means “the world” to the staff at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.