2022 Health: More than $23 million in projects planned or under way but the big story for the new year remains the most dire: the pandemic.

2022 Health: More than $23 million in projects planned or under way but the big story for the new year remains the most dire: the pandemic.

A look at construction continuing at Atrium Health Floyd on Monday, Dec. 26, with crews from Brasfield & Gorrie. Hometown photo. Below, the artist’s rendering of the finished product.

Perhaps the biggest health/business story of 2022 will be the continuing adjustments to new ownership of Floyd, Redmond Regional and Cartersville Medical Center. The new names are still confusing some — even internally — as changes continue. We’ll chart keep updates along the way.

Some of those changes have meant new leadership as well while others have seen a shift in policy (example: Not releasing COVID patient counts).

But the continuing pandemic will be the health story of 2022 as our healthcare centers, public health and communities try to cope with wave after wave of coronavirus. As we close 2021 today, we’re seeing patient counts climb again at Atrium Health Floyd and Advent Health Redmond.  Fifty-one weeks ago, on Jan. 6, 2021, both hospitals reported a pandemic high of 166 patients. As of Friday, the count was at…47?

As the new year begins, Atrium Floyd and Advent Health Gordon be under COVID-induced visitation restrictions (click here) and we expect others to do the same.

The push for vaccinations will continue, if not expand, as the Omicron spread grows. Public Health continues to offer free vaccinations as well as free COVID testing. But through Thursday, 47%  of Floyd’s residents had received a first dose of vaccine; 43% had completed the initial vaccine protocol; and 32% of those had received a booster. Overall, 13% of Floyd’s nearly 100,000 residents are considered fully vaccinated and “boosted.” And that’s the highest of any county in our area.

We’ll have more on COVID in our final 2022 preview/review Saturday.

In projects:

So far, 2022 looks a bit lighter than previous years where we’ve seen new pediatric centers and urgent care locations open. Then again $23 million worth of construction is planned or under way in Floyd and Chattooga counties.

Atrium Health Floyd is building a $5 million helipad for air ambulances at the North Second Avenue entrance to the hospital’s Emergency Care Center as the hospital continues to enhance its trauma services. The raised helipad will have direct elevator access to ECC trauma bays and will allow ambulances and other first-responder vehicles to pass and park beneath to access the emergency center. It will replace the landing strip off Riverside Parkway.

  • Status: Construction continues.

Atrium Health Floyd proposed an around-the-clock emergency center serving Chattooga County, rising near the Walmart on U.S. 27. Pending state approval, it is an $18.5 million investment with a staff of 40 expected. Atrium bills it as “Northwest Georgia’s first freestanding emergency department in Chattooga County, bringing a new level of 24/7 emergency care to residents of Summerville, Trion, Lyerly and surrounding communities.” Location: Near the intersection of U.S. 27 and Selman Drive.

  • Status: The certificate of need has been filed with the state.
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