DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) – As the Delta variant spreads and more people develop COVID-19 symptoms, area hospitals are filling up at an alarming rate.  Southeast Health Medical Center has implemented a “modified external disaster code.”  

Mark Stewart, Southeast Health’s Director of Public Relations, confirmed to WDHN News that patients arriving at the hospital suffering from COVID-19 along with “a high volume of patients with routine health conditions has placed great demand on the system.”  

The code allows for the hospital to implement certain operational changes to meet the needs of the community, Stewart said. 

On Wednesday, Southeast Health reported 97 people hospitalized at its facility, according to data provided to the Southeast District of the Alabama Department of Public Health.  Ten percent of those patients were fully vaccinated, indicating “breakthrough” cases continue to occur with the highly contagious Delta variant. 

One local health official suggested area hospitals are seeing an influx of people showing up at local hospitals.  Some southwest Georgia EMS personnel are bypassing local hospitals and bringing patients to Southeast Health.

Flowers Hospital is also experiencing a large number of people coming to their ER. 

That facility reported 69 COVID-19-related hospitalizations Wednesday.  Eleven (16%) of those patients had been fully vaccinated against the virus.  

Other hospitalization data from Wiregrass hospitals Wednesday:  

  • Dale Medical Center – 22 patients  
  • Mizell Memorial – 18 patients 
  • Medical Center Enterprise – 35 patients 
  • Wiregrass Medical Center – 15 patients 
  • Medical Center Barbour – 5 patients 
  • Troy Regional – 8 patients  

Doctors and healthcare professionals continue to urge residents of the Wiregrass to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  The majority of patients requiring admittance to local hospitals have occurred in unvaccinated individuals.