The Augusta region is experiencing unprecedented demands to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Response Fund is designated to support Augusta University and AU Health’s response and associated expenses pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AU Health’s three-pronged approach of telemedicine screening, drive-by sampling, and in-house testing puts us at the leading edge of technology and innovation in the fight against COVID-19. We need resources (supplies, equipment and people) to scale up so that we can provide necessary services to our entire region and, indeed, the state of Georgia.
The Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University (AU) has developed its own test for COVID-19 which will greatly improve turnaround time, leading to reduced spread of disease. Informing infected individuals more quickly means earlier identification of needed treatment, quarantine, or isolation.
Utilizing our established expertise in Telemedicine, AU Health quickly created and is offering a Virtual Screening website, AU Health Express Care app and COVID-19 hotline to ensure individuals who are symptomatic can be screened by a health care provider and, as needed, scheduled for testing.
Significant numbers of healthcare providers are needed to ensure prompt, safe and effective testing of those who have been pre-screened and present with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
The availability of ICU beds, ventilators and medications are crucial to the treatment of those in respiratory distress as a result of COVID-19. Many of those hospitalized will have underlying health issues that will require extra care and treatment protocols.
Telemedicine use in the ambulatory clinic setting to protect patients and caregivers from unnecessary exposure. These measures are targeted to ensure patients have the opportunity to see their doctor and get their prescriptions filled without leaving their homes.
Augusta University suspended face-to-face instruction and students have been asked to move-out of their residence halls as a necessary precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our students who are employed on-campus and in the community are unable to work. These rapid, significant changes have created an immediate need for our Augusta University students.
Distance learning is offered to our students; but, not all of them can afford the technology or internet access that is required to continue their on-line instruction. We are striving to do everything within our power to position them for academic success.
Food insecurity has been a pervasive issue on college campuses across the nation and this pandemic has exacerbated this critical need. Our Open Paws Food Pantry has opened a second satellite location in Elm Hall for those students who are unable to move-out because they have an extenuating circumstance, such as being an international student or the residence hall is their home.
For students who have depended upon a job to support themselves while going to college and now face unemployment, this lack of income puts completion of their education in peril.
We seek to offer a financial lifeline to our students in crisis. We must support them in every possible way as their lives are severely disrupted.