Atlanta’s emergency rooms and intensive care units are packed and many are turning away or diverting patients to other hospitals in the metro area as COVID-19 cases surge.

The highly contagious delta variant of the virus has cut a swath through Georgia, which continues to have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country with only 39 percent of the population inoculated.

The latest stats from the Georgia Coordinating Center website, which tracks patient distribution at state hospitals, showed just how overwhelmed hospitals in Fulton and DeKalb are.

As of Monday evening, Aug. 9, Grady Hospital in Downtown was on “total diversion,” meaning its ICU and emergency room were full. Emory University Hospital Midtown was listed as “severely crowded” with its ICU at saturation level, which is the level before diversion begins.

Both Piedmont Hospital and Northside Hospital were diverting ICU and ER patients on Monday evening with severe overcrowding.

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.