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Health

In Hopkinsville COVID-19 Hospitalizations at Jennie Stuart Approach Record High

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Jennifer P. Brown
/
Hoptown Chronicle

On Wednesday, Jennie Stuart was treating 37 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 — the most since Jan. 11, according to data provided by spokeswoman Jayme Tubbs. There have only been seven days during the pandemic that Jennie Stuart has recorded more COVID-19 hospitalizations. The highest single-day total was 42, on Jan. 7.

Wednesday’s total reflects an increase of more than 500% since Aug. 1.

After falling to zero in mid-June for the first time in a year, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Jennie Stuart jumped to double digits on Aug. 6 and has remained above 20 since Aug. 11. It’s the steepest increase since the pandemic began. In the last week, the hospital has treated an average of 30 patients per day.

In addition to the spike in patients hospitalized with coronavirus, Jennie Stuart has also struggled with finding places to transfer patients.

Local emergency room physician Dr. Shea Godwin recently told WKDZ that, on one occasion last month, the hospital contacted 41 other facilities looking for somewhere to send an ICU-level patient, but not a single one could admit the individual.

Following Godwin’s account of the recent surge in COVID-19 and its critical impact on the hospital, Hoptown Chronicle asked Jennie Stuart spokesman Chris Jung to expand on the hospital’s message to the community and to describe what residents should do in response to current conditions.

“Similar to last year, precautions must continue to be taken by our local residents,” Jung said in an email. “Those calls to action include a reminder for people to wear masks, remain socially distant when possible and practice good hand hygiene. Most importantly, Jennie Stuart Health encourages all those able and eligible to get vaccinated. The numbers show that the science is working.”

Residents can also help by “avoiding the emergency room, if possible.” Jung instead encouraged those who are able to get help from their primary care providers, to use telehealth options and to stay home if COVID symptoms are manageable.

This story first appeared in the Hoptown Chronicle, a non profit news service for Hopkinsville.

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