South Georgia is getting a new emergency room.

South Georgia Medical Center converted Smith Northview into a walk-in urgent care center in 2015 — but during the height of the pandemic, their main Valdosta campus was swamped with COVID-19 cases.

The state gave the nonprofit health system emergency permission to see in-patient, non-COVID cases at Smith Northview.

Medical director Brian Dawson said they’ve been ramping up services there ever since.

“During the time when we had the COVID crisis, that was what really prompted us to begin using that facility to more of its full efficacy over there as far as your inpatient beds for spill-over," he said.

State officials have already given the green-light for a new emergency room, Valdosta’s second. but it’s not open just yet. Hospital officials expect to open it in early January.