Eastern Kentucky hospitals adopting new precautions amidst COVID-19 outbreak

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the Commonwealth, health officials are quickly becoming more concerned.

“What is most alarming for us right now is our hospital situation,” Kentucky River District Public Health Director Scott Lockard said. “We’re seeing the number of beds that are occupied in our hospitals is way up and that we actually have hospitals that are on diversions, are not able to take patients.”

Some hospitals are beginning to enforce safety protocols to ensure safety. Just this week, AdventHealth Manchester officials announced that the hospital would be suspending all in-person visitations as the Delta variant is now impacting all ages.

“This time around with the Delta variant, we’re seeing more younger patients which is very much a concern,” Lockard said. “The beds at our children’s hospitals are being occupied.”

Officials with Appalachian Regional Hospital said their workload is so great that they may be among those without any available space in the near future.

“Soon enough probably, we won’t have any beds and this is what other states are experiencing, mainly the southern states like Florida, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana,” ARH Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Fares Khater said. “They’re calling as far as Maryland to transfer patients right now.”

All are in agreement that the worst is yet to come.

“We still have yet to see a peak. So this is going to get worse before it gets better. Right now, we are very busy,” Dr. Khater said. “The numbers we’re seeing and the hospital admissions we’re seeing, even the outpatient setting, we’re seeing has never been seen before.”

For a breakdown of COVID-19 incidence rates in your county, click here.

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