LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – The staff at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead is breathing a sigh of relief as the hospital is finally seeing a noticeable slow down in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
It’s been a challenging couple of months, though.
“We hit and broke every record possible here at St. Claire,” said Donald Lloyd, the president and CEO at St. Claire.
The latest surge of COVID-19 from the delta variant had the hospital bursting at the seams, like many hospitals across Kentucky.
“To complicate the volume, was the acuity of the patients. These patients were extremely sick upon presentation, and then they would decompensate even further,” Lloyd said.
The situation at St. Claire got so dire, they had to set up an overflow tent in their parking lot. It’s now being used as a space for monoclonal antibody therapy.
Inside the hospital, the number of COVID patients has gone down by more than half since the peak.
“At one time we had 49 patients, which was our maximum here in the medical center, of which half were critically ill. Today we have 20 patients,” Lloyd said.
The best sign of change is the decreasing death rate. It’s a morale boost that the staff has longed for.
“At the level that we’re seeing death each day, not each week but each day, for each shift for that matter. It was debilitating,” Lloyd said.
Troops from the Kentucky National Guard have also been at the hospital helping in different roles. They’re expected to leave within the next month as the hospital looks to transition to a calmer phase in the pandemic, and ask the community to do their part.
“I just appeal to people, please do what’s necessary to protect yourself, and protect your family and your loved ones,” Lloyd said.
We’re seeing that same downward trend across the state. On August 11, there were 1,327 people in the hospital with COVID. That number climbed over the next five weeks.
On September 15, nearly 2,500 patients were hospitalized with COVID. Since then, there has been a decline each week. On Wednesday, there are 1,365 COVID patients in Kentucky hospitals