There is now a statewide Coordinated Entry toll free number. They may be able to help you find shelter.
An outbreak of influenza is apparently peaking in the Rome area which has prompted Redmond Regional Medical Center, Floyd Medical Center and Polk Medical Center to restrict visitors to the hospitals.
All three hospitals are restricting visitors to immediate family members and no one under the age of 13.
The flu can cause serious complications, even be fatal, particularly for the very young, the elderly and those with certain existing medical conditions.
Northwest Georgia Public Health spokesman Logan Boss said the predominant strain that is going around is the H3N2. "It's an A strain that can be particularly tough for the very young and the elderly," Boss said.
Boss said this strain typically results in more hospitalization and deaths than are seen in the "normal" flu season. Boss said of the five confirmed flu deaths in Georgia, one was an elderly Bartow County resident with underlying medical conditions.
Nancy Nydam, a spokesman for the Department of Public Health in Atlanta said more than 300 people have been hospitalized across the state.
Boss said he would not be surprised at all if the number of flu-related deaths does not go up.
"Normally, the peak of our flu season is in February," Boss said.
Redmond Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Andrea Pitts said since Jan. 1 Redmond has tested nearly 200 patients for influenza.
"Of those patients tested, approximately 20 percent have tested positive for the flu. This is an increase from December when of 274 patients tested, 9.5 percent showed positive results for the flu."
“If you think you have the flu, the best action to take is to visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care office as soon as possible,” said Dr. Robert Holcombe Jr., medical director, Floyd Urgent Care.
Visitorswho are allowed to see loved ones in the local hospitals are encouraged to wash their hands frequently while in the hospital and wear protective face masksin the event they are asked to do so.
“It is not too late to get a flu shot,” says J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., DPH commissioner. “Every individual over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine — not just for their own protection, but to protect others around them who may be more vulnerable to the flu and its complications.”
"Influenza is probably the most unpredictable infectious disease that we deal with in public health," Boss said. "It makes it incredibly difficult to develop vaccines, it's a guessing game, to develop a vaccine that will be effective against a flu virus six months out." Boss admitted the vaccine this year has been less effective than some in years gone by but said it's still the best protection available.
Posted on the American Red Cross FB page:
Due to this next round of cold weather with temps dipping below 30 over the next several nights, these organizations have graciously agreed to house blankets for anyone who needs them. Stay warm!
American Red Cross of South Georgia, 509 N. Patterson St. 2nd floor, Suite 201 Hours: Monday through Friday from 9-5
Salvation Army Office, 320 Smithland Place Hours: 8:30 until 3, Monday through Friday except for Monday, January 15
Salvation Army Shelter, 317 Virginia Ave., Hours: 6 pm to 7 am
LAMP, 714 Charlton St., Hours: 8 am - 4 pm at the shelter day center M-F, day center is the last door on the side of the building facing the parking lot and from 4 pm to 8 pm from the second door on the front porch of the building facing Charlton St. Please ring bell for service.
United Way, 210 W. Park Avenue, Hours: 8:00-4:30, Monday through Friday
The following shelters will open to those seeking shelter from cold temperatures:
Grace Fellowship Church 1304 West Hill Avenue,
Salvation Army on Virginia Avenue,
New Horizons Shelter at 714 Charlton Street.
From Ashley Tye, EMS Director:
We are still utilizing the same plan that we have for the past several years which has, up to this point, met the needs of our local population.
In addition to the shelters at LAMP and Salvation Army, which are open year round, Grace Fellowship Church on West Hill Avenue has continued to offer to shelter to anyone in need whenever the temperatures are expected to drop near or below freezing.
In past years they have provided shelter for as many as 12 people on a given night but so far this year no one has taken them up on their offer of a warm place to ride out the cold. In order to make sure that no one is left out in the cold they have a notice posted on the door with a contact person’s number for anyone that may arrive after they have closed the building.
In accordance with our standard procedures if they were to begin nearing capacity we would be prepared to open up an additional shelter at a different location. The information on available shelters is also disseminated to local public safety so they can assist any individuals they may run across during the performance of their duties on a given night.
September 8 at 5:41pm · In preparation for Hurricane Irma, we have opened the Xtream Wifi hotspots throughout the Valdosta service area. We know that communication is critically important to both residents and emergency personnel, and now more than ever we need to stay connected. Select 'FreeXtreamWiFi' from your list of available networks and sign in.
Sam's Club is already closed, they have barricaded the doors on the inside with a wall of water!!!
Walmart is closing at 5PM 9/10/17
There are quite a few Red Cross Shelters along the projected Cone of Irma.
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