Metro hospitals starting to see increase in COVID-19 cases, available beds decrease

ATLANTA — As the COVID-19 omicron variant continues to pop up across Georgia, that means that more and more cases are also popping up inside metro hospitals.

As of Tuesday, about 85% of inpatient beds are in use in our state, and 82% of ICU beds are currently full.

“The rate of increase of admission of patients with COVID is now exponential, and that is very concerning,” said Dr. Robert Jansen, chief medical officer of Grady Memorial Hospital.

Jansen told Channel 2′s Lori Wilson that he’s seeing more COVID-19 positive patients in his ER — a worrying sign of what could be coming.

“We have seen a doubling of our patients in the hospital with COVID in the last week,” Jansen said.

That rise is due in large part to the now dominant and highly infectious omicron variant that is making its way across the state.

“CDC data from this morning shows that (for) the region, that (for) Georgia, 95% of the cases are omicron,” Jansen said.


Piedmont Healthcare sent Wilson a statement that read in part that, “while many of its hospitals are near capacity, we ask all patients who need medical attention to seek care without delay.”

Northside Hospital said it has seen a slight increase in COVID-positive patients recently. About 13% of their current patients are COVID-positive.

In the Northeast Georgia Health System, Gainesville is stressed the most, with 19 people waiting for a bed there.

At Grady, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, 60 patients are currently waiting for a bed.

“We can talk a lot about whether it is as severe of a disease. Nonetheless, when you have so many people getting infected, the number of people requiring hospitalization is going up significantly,” Jansen said.

Jansen said it’s a numbers game. The more people infected, the more hospitalizations there will be.

And while he said he’s seeing more people that are vaccinated in the hospital, he says the majority of those people are patients with serious existing health conditions.