Ky. hospital to begin requiring masks again due to high COVID transmission rates

WATCH | Ky. hospital to begin requiring masks again due to high COVID transmission rates
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 10:33 PM EST
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CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A central Kentucky hospital is requiring masks again.

Clark Regional Medical Center says they are returning to masking starting Thursday because of high transmission rates of COVID.

They ask everyone to bring their mask or pick one up at the entry to Clark Regional, Clark Clinic or any of their other facilities.

We also spoke to Physician Assistant Charles Spillman with Baptist Health Richmond. Spillman says they never lifted the masking requirements at their facilities.

He tells us that they’ve been seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases this holiday season, especially.

That doesn’t necessarily surprise physicians since mask mandates have been lifted and since the number of people getting COVID boosters isn’t as high as physicians would like to see.

However, what is surprising to health professionals is the surge in flu cases. Spillman says it’s been years since we’ve seen flu numbers like this.

“What’s more surprising is the rise in flu. We hadn’t seen flu in probably a few years. I would attribute that to the mask-wearing,” Spillman said. “Once that was mandated, flu dropped quite a bit. Since the mandates were lifted in a lot of places, that’s when we saw the rise in flu.”

He says people coming in with flu and COVID have had the typical symptoms of high fevers and body aches. Also some not-so-typical symptoms, now as well, like nauseous and even diarrhea.

“I don’t expect those to drop off until the spring. This is the season. We’re going to see these respiratory infections, COVID, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia. All the respiratory infections go up this time of year, and I would expect that to continue,” Spillman said.

Health care professionals say it’s not too late to get your flu shot or COVID booster.