COVID-19 hospitalizations going up in Kentucky; majority are unvaccinated

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 11:52 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - COVID-19 cases are rising across the commonwealth and the country.

In the heart of the pandemic, many hospitals were overrun with COVID-19 patients. But, how are they faring now?

As COVID-19 numbers rise across the state, so is the number of people being hospitalized. In Lexington, it’s been a steady increase over the past few weeks.

Officials with UK and Baptist Health told us, just a few weeks ago, their COVID-19 inpatient numbers were down into the single digits. Now, they’re running around 15 to 20. The majority of them are unvaccinated.

They are also seeing a younger group than when the pandemic first started. That’s because so many of the people in the highest risk category, older Kentuckians, have been vaccinated.

They tell us they’ve already been busy making up for care that was postponed during the pandemic. So, these additional cases are going on top of an already crowded schedule.

However, they also tell us they don’t anticipate having to scale back any of their services as they did previously, part of that is because of lessons learned during the height of the pandemic on how to treat these patients.

“We want to maintain flexibility to take care of patients. We want to maintain our ability to handle any increase in surges, but we don’t really have any plans to scale back or go back to where we were in the spring of 2020,” said Dr. Gregory Repass with Baptist Health.

A spokesperson for UK Hospital told us they had started discussing a de-escalation plan when it came to COVID-19, but, with the delta variant continuing to spread, that has been put on hold.

Doctors also encourage people who think they need a COVID-19 test to schedule one at one of the sites in the community instead of going to the emergency room unless they are severely ill.

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