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Christian County, region reaches 100% ICU capacity

Jennifer P. Brown
Hoptown Chronicle

This story is part of an occasional series from Hoptown Chronicle about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting Jennie Stuart Medical Center. See more coverage.

On Friday, there wasn’t a single intensive care bed available in Christian County or at hospitals located in 10 surrounding counties, according to data provided by the state Department of Public Health.

Kentucky hospital capacity by region as of Sept. 3, 2021. Click here for descriptions of each region. (Kentucky Department of Public Health chart)

Our region — which also includes Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Todd, Union and Webster counties — was among two of the state’s 10 regions at capacity for its ICUs as the delta variant continues to surge across the commonwealth. Six other regions were at more than 90% capacity for ICU beds.

Although capacity fluctuates with staffing levels, over the last year, Jennie Stuart’s ICU capacity has ranged anywhere from 11 to 15 beds, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

In Christian County’s region on Friday, 61% of ventilators were in use — more than any other region in the state.

In recent weeks, as hospitals across Kentucky and in surrounding states fill up, Jennie Stuart has struggled to find alternative locations to transfer patients, regardless of COVID status.

Local emergency room physician Dr. Shea Godwin recently told WKDZ that, on one occasion in August, the hospital contacted 41 other facilities looking for somewhere that was able to admit the patient — but not a single one was able to. Godwin noted she’d experienced several other similar situations recently while working in the emergency room at Jennie Stuart and Trigg County Hospital.

This story was first published by the non-profit Hoptown Chronicle see more at

Julia Hunter is the engagement editor for Hoptown Chronicle.
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