Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois Hospitals Call On Community To Help Against COVID-19
Hospital and health department leaders across western Kentucky and southern Illinois in an open letter published Monday say they’re working together to tackle COVID-19, but can’t fight the virus on their own.
The letter asks communities to take precautions against the virus, representing CEOs and presidents of hospitals including Murray-Calloway County Hospital, Jackson Purchase Medical Center, Trigg County Hospital, and Massac Memorial Hospital.
“Our strength is in our shared mission to protect lives, care for the stricken, and work together to face this virus using our best resources,” the letter states in part. “We cannot do this alone. We need your help and cooperation. This pandemic is not a threat that can be solely tackled within the four walls of a hospital. Success is in our collective hands.”
Hospital leaders have asked community members to wear a mask, wash hands frequently, and practice social distancing in doing their part to limit COVID-19 spread.
“By following these guidelines, our communities have the ability to make a tremendous impact on the progression of the virus. Our actions in the coming days and months will be critical in our
efforts to minimize hospitalizations and return to our lives with friends and family,” the letter continues.
Murray Calloway County Hospital CEO Jerry Pennersaid the purpose of the collaborative letter was to show that community hospitals are working together to ensure the public's safety, but that now is the time for the community to take charge in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The nine hospitals in the western Kentucky region have been partnering together since the April time frame. We’re under some pretty significant stress right now. So what we’re asking our community to do is exactly what we’ve outlined in the letter, to kinda help us out because our resources are getting tight and our beds are filling,” Penner said “Fortunately, the people reaching out to help us are the hospitals in the region.”
Penner expects to see a surge of cases the weeks following Thanksgiving if people do not follow guidelines. He said people should wear a mask even if they’re around family members.
“We’re getting ready to go into a significant holiday when people normally get together. Now all of a sudden we’re asking people to wear masks and in some cases, the governor is asking them not to have large groups at home. We can only imagine the two weeks after Thanksgiving, we’re gonna have another potential blossom of a number of cases. We just need everyone’s help to think about what they’re doing,” he said.