Kentucky National Guard begins work to help at Baptist Health Lexington

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:59 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky National Guard is at Baptist Health Lexington.

The hospital is overrun with COVID-19 patients and is also having staffing issues.

Tuesday was the first day those guard members got to work. The group joins hundreds of guard members across the state helping hospitals while they manage this latest surge in the virus.

15 members of the Kentucky National Guard have been deployed to Baptist Health Lexington. They’ll be helping out with non-medical tasks, like screening people when they come in, patient transport and maintenance.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Borders tells us they are still pretty full when it comes to Covid patients, but their numbers have gone down a bit since last week. He hopes that signals the peak of the surge from the Delta variant has passed.

He said having those members here will help a staff that has been pretty taxed over the last few months.

“If we can free up more highly trained people to do things that are more specific to the Covid patient population, all of us welcome that helpful input,” Dr. Borders said.

The soldiers we talked with told us they are happy to serve.

“We come to appreciate what they do for us and we’re really glad we can just help out,” said Lt. Martin Davalos.

Dr. Borders told us those guard members were originally supposed to be here for a couple of weeks, but he said that mission may end up being about a month depending on what the Covid numbers look like.

Dr. Borders said the cleaning required when a Covid patient leaves their room is a specialized process and this would help free up the staff who have been trained in that as well.

Dr. Borders says there is some concern that get togethers over Labor Day may lead to another rise in COVID-19 cases.

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