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Madison Co. Health Department, EMS alarmed with current surge in COVID-19 cases

Madison Co. Health Department, EMS alarmed with current surge in COVID-19 cases
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:44 PM EST
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - While there is hope we’re getting closer to the peak of the omicron surge, COVID has never been as contagious as it is right now.

Madison County set a new weekly high with more than 1,700 cases last week, making people there anxiously wait for cases to start declining.

“These are records we don’t want to break,” said Kelley McBride, the public information officer for the Madison County Health Department.

The omicron variant has proven to be highly contagious—and the people of Madison County are no strangers to that.

“On Monday we had over 1,000 cases for the week. So that’s a lot of folks who are sick in the county and a lot of people who are dealing with COVID-19,” McBride said.

The Madison County Health Department said COVID-19 is the main illness they’re treating.

“Currently, we are having a low rate of flu cases in Madison County,” McBride said.

McBride said the department is trying to help people get back to work.

“A link that we added to our website was a request for return-to-work letter. We’re trying to expedite that process,” McBride said.

Many industries have been impacted. Madison County EMS Director Carlos Coyle said this is the most difficult time first responders have ever seen.

“EMS, hospitals, any businesses out there. A lot of our staff are working a tremendous amount of overtime to keep the ambulances on the roads,” Coyle said.

The COVID calls aren’t only coming from outside EMS headquarters. The workers themselves are calling in, too.

“We have crew members out with COVID. Staffing is already difficult during these times,” Coyle said.

He said employees on call are also dealing with snowstorms on top of illness.

“The crews are trying to put a gown on for protection over top of a raincoat, or a heavy winter coat. It brings its own challenges,” Coyle said.

He said he hopes this variant peaks soon and case numbers drop.

According to the Madison County Health Department, 50.7% of people living there are vaccinated.

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