covid death

A sixth Pierce Countian, Linda Bates, has reportedly died of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The 73-year-old woman’s death appeared in the Department of Public Health (DPH) report Thursday, July 30.

Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home in Brunswick is reportedly serving the Bates’ family. No other details were available by The Times’ press deadline.

Pierce and Ware counties continue to report dozens of new infections each week, and area doctors are reportedly treating a constant flow of COVID-19 patients.

But, cases vary in severity, says Dr. Brent Waters of Blackshear Family Practice.

Waters, who also serves as a program director at Memorial Satilla Health, says his office in Blackshear and the hospital continue to stay busy treating COVID-19 patients.

As of Monday, Memorial Satilla was awaiting three COVID-19 test results and treating 24 patients for coronavirus symptoms.

The hospital, and others in the region continue to announce diversion orders for a day or two and then cancel them as inpatient numbers fluctuate. That’s been the pattern for a couple of weeks now. Monday, Memorial Satilla Health was on ER diversion.

“We go on diversion based on the status of the number of inpatients we have. When we are on diversion, we never, ever turn patients away. EMS makes the decision where to send patients with non-life threatening emergencies,” says Bobby McCullough, CEO of Memorial Satilla.

“It is critical that people come to the ER (emergency room) if they are experiencing a medical emergency,” McCullough adds. “EMS will continue to bring us the most critical emergencies – heart attacks, strokes, etc.”

Pierce County’s numbers rose by 13 last week while Ware reported 39 new virus cases. Pierce reported two more hospitalizations and Ware reported three. Neighboring Wayne County reportedly had the second highest rate of infection in the state one day last week.