Surge in COVID-19 cases taking a toll on Madison County EMS workers

Surge in COVID-19 cases taking a toll on Madison County EMS workers
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT
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MADISON CO., Ky. (WKYT) - We’re still seeing a surge of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.

Monday, the Madison County Health Department reported they’re in the red zone with average daily cases of 93.7 per 100,000 people. Now, Madison County EMS says these numbers are taking a toll and bringing an ever-increasing workload.

“Some of these patients in the younger generation we’re seeing them younger and quicker and sicker,” said Ron Jackson, assistant director of Madison County EMS. “We had some small spikes, but in the last month or two, I mean it certainly spiked way up.”

Jackson says employees’ schedules are moving around. Many are working overtime to cover open shifts.

“They work a 24-hour shift, so they come in at 7 a.m. this morning, they won’t get off till 7 a.m. the next morning,” Jackson said.

All during a time Jackson says these cases were not originally expected.

“Last March and April, we were preparing for this and for the surge in COVID patients that we really never got,” Jackson says. “Now, in the last few months, we are seeing the surge and it’s definitely taken a toll on our employees and probably all healthcare.”

Monday, the Madison County Health Department reported 569 new cases with an incidence rate of 93.7. It’s headed in the right direction compared to last week’s 705 new cases, but still puts the county in the red zone.

There is a way you can help, according to Jackson. He says some call 911 during times a telehealth meeting or other means of transport are more fitting. He mentions increased vaccination could lead to fewer emergencies.

“Then that really helps us also and that takes a burden off us so we can answer those 911 calls,” Jackson said.

Jackson says he’s seen patients’ symptoms range from a shortness of breath to those who need a ventilator.

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