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Opinion: You can help combat the coronavirus
ap Harwell pic
Liberty Regional Medical Center's Marketing Director René Harwell - photo by Alena Parker / Coastal Courier

With the onset of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), it may seem as though we are in uncertain times. But rest assured, the Departments of Public Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and your local healthcare facilities are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus. The rest is up to the millions of us who live and work around the world. It is not a time for panic, but rather for vigilance in keeping ourselves and those around us healthy. 

Coronaviruses are not new. In fact, some commonly circulate in the United States causing upper respiratory issues such as runny nose or cough. Some may cause more serious illness. COVID-19, however, originated in Wuhan, China and is now spreading around the world at a fast pace. This virus causes symptoms such as cough, fever and difficulty breathing. Many who become infected will make a full recovery, some experiencing only minor symptoms. Others whose immune systems are compromised, those who have multiple health issues and the elderly may be susceptible to more serious complications. To protect yourself, your families and those around you, as with any infectious disease, common sense precautions are necessary to prevent the spread of this virus.

COVID-19 can spread through the air by way of droplets from coughing and sneezing, touching your nose, eyes, or mouth with unwashed hands, or through close contact with others including touching, hugging and shaking hands. Most of us know the following: wash our hands frequently, or use alcohol based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not available; cover our mouth and nose with a tissue when we sneeze and cough; and avoid close contact with those who are ill. However, since the symptoms of COVID-19 may take up to 14 days in some cases to appear, you may be contagious before you feel ill. This is why social distancing is more important than ever. 

States of Emergency have been issued to assist with the socio-economic hardships that are developing due to the necessary steps begin taken to stop the spread of this virus. Unfortunately this also includes limiting activities where 10 or more persons gather together, thus the term “social distancing”. 

Healthcare facilities are also implementing strict measures to protect their patients and staff. Liberty Regional Medical Center is currently restricting all visitors to our hospital and nursing home. To reach the nursing home, please call the main number at 912-545-3392. To reach the hospital, please call the main number at 912-369-9400. If you are wishing to speak with a patient at the hospital and know their room number, please dial 912-445-5+ the room number.

Our Liberty Regional Medical Associates practices, including Liberty Family Medicine, Liberty Surgical Associates and Liberty Obstetrics and Gynecology, are now seeing patients through telemedicine. Please use the following contact numbers below for more information and to get set-up to use this service. 

Liberty Family Medicine, Hinesville Office

Calin Badea, MD

Rebecca Shaver, PA 

Martha Kitchings, FNP


Liberty Family Medicine, Midway Clinic 

Traiana Pacurar, MD

Lisa Crews, FNP


Liberty Surgical Associates

Christina McCain, MD

Rebecca Coefield-Floyd, MD


Liberty Obstetrics and Gynecology

Seth Borquaye, MD


Our Walk-in Clinic at the hospital is open from 9am until 9pm, Monday through Friday, taking the last patient at 8:15pm. Our Emergency Department will continue to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

The Georgia Department of Public Health has set-up a COVID-19 hotline. If you are experiencing symptoms, or have been exposed to the virus, please call the hotline at 1-844-442-2681 before going to the Emergency Department or other healthcare facility. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you may be able to isolate at home. Please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others such as wearing a mask around others in your home, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily and staying at home until you are cleared by a physician. 

Liberty Regional is working closely with the Departments of Public Health and the CDC to combat the spread of this disease. You may visit the Liberty Regional website at for additional information and for organizational updates. Other resources include:, and 

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