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COVID-19 testing sites coming to regional hospitals to help overrun ERs

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday announced hospitalizations have increased for 42 straight days. He says this is the highest number of hospitalizations in the entire pandemic.

“As horrible as last year’s surge was, we were never in the position where doctors worried they’d need to choose between treating a patient who can’t breathe, because of COVID or treating a patient who is bleeding out from a car accident. But that is the strain that our hospitals are under now,” Beshear said.

To help with the capacity problems and staff shortages, Gov. Beshear announced new partnerships to try to ease the strain.

Starting Friday, COVID-19 testing sites will open at four hospitals across the state: Baptist Health Corbin, Pikeville Medical Center, St. Claire Regional Medical Center and a site in Danville.

Beshear said he had talked with CEOs of hospitals and they were frustrated the emergency rooms were overrun with people wanting a COVID test.

“If this works, and if we have the money and the buy-in, this is something that we may look at expanding further, so we are going to continue to try to be creative. I get that there’s some policy calls I can’t make, but if I’ve got the ability to help out any hospital, have one extra person, or one extra bed that might be your family member. We’re going to keep working on it,” Beshear said.

The governor hopes these testing sites will free up staff who usually handle the testing, so they an attend to patients.

At PMC and St. Claire Regional Medical Center, testing will begin from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27.

PCR tests will be offered and results will be sent via email the next day.

You can schedule an appointment, or walk-up.

For an appointment at PMC click here.

For an appointment at St. Claire Regional Medical Center click here.

The governor also announced FEMA has approved a request for EMS strike teams. On Friday, 15 ambulances and 30 EMS personnel will arrive in Lexington.

These teams will help transfer patients between hospitals or complete typical emergency runs throughout counties.

“That is going to be a big help. We still need those nurse strike teams admittedly so do a lot of other states so do a lot of other states but we are grateful for this extra help we will take every single person every single but of help that we can get,” the governor said.

The governor says on July 14, 239 people were hospitalized. On Aug. 25, 2,074 patients were in the hospital fighting COVID-19. Before the delta variant, the state’s record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations was 1,817 in December of 2020.

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