Baptist Health Corbin is overwhelmed right now due to the latest COVID-19 surge, and it has temporarily closed its surgery department and stopped patient visitation.
Sherrie Mays, vice president and chief nursing officer for Baptist Health Corbin, was one of the speakers during Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 press briefing Monday afternoon and spoke about how only six of the 65 COVID-19 patients at the hospital had been fully vaccinated.
“We are all overwhelmed at this time. To share our story at Baptist Health Corbin, this morning when we came in, we had a census of 175, all of our ICU beds, our PCU beds, our telemetry beds, our med surge beds are all full. We have no more capacity in those beds. We’ve made the decision to close our surgery department to allow us some extra space should it be needed and utilize that staff to take care of patients as well,” Mays said Monday.
A total of 14 were on ventilators Monday, and the hospital had 10 more ventilators, if needed, and another five have been ordered.
“We are also seeing a younger age group as well. The 20-60 year olds are really sick this time. Many of them are ventilated.” Mays noted.
The hospital has opened six additional CCU beds to accommodate patients, who are ventilated, and the hospital is looking to expand that again.
The 28-bed emergency department unit is currently seeing 150 – 170 patients per day.
“We have done all kinds of creative things with our staff to ensure our patients get the help that they need,” Mays said.
During the press conference, Mays encouraged the public to do two things.
“The thing I would like to ask is, please get your vaccination. That’s the one thing you can do for our community. The other thing you can do for our community is pray for our patients, and pray for our staff and our physicians that they can be resilient during this pandemic and that we can get through it as quickly as possible.”
Mays noted that the patients are really sick right now, and the devastation is difficult for the nurses and staff to see.
Therapy services are being offered to the staff so they can be functional and take care of the patients, she added.
On Sunday, Baptist Health Corbin implemented its new visitation policy and is not allowing visitors for most patients at the hospital. There will be limited exceptions.
“We have seen a significant increase in the COVID positivity rate in our area. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients, visitors, and staff safe,” said Baptist Health Corbin President Anthony Powers. “We apologize for the inconvenience to our patients and their families, but we must keep patient and staff safety as our top priority.”
Everyone will be asked COVID screening questions upon entry into the hospital.
The main entrance of the hospital will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The emergency department doors will be open 24/7. The outpatient surgery and inpatient surgery entrances will be open from 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Trillium Center entrance will remain closed at this time.
With the current surge in cases, the demand for COVID-19 testing is on the rise and doctors at Baptist Health Corbin are reminding the public that the hospital’s emergency room should not be their first stop for a COVID-19 test.
David Worthy, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at Baptist Health Corbin, explained that when too many people come to the emergency room for non-emergent issues – such as a regular COVID-19 test – it can cause back-ups that affect those who need to be there for life-saving care from the disease and other issues, such as stroke and heart attack patients.
“We understand the concern people in the community are feeling over COVID-19 right now, but with the volume of patients we are seeing, it is even more important that everyone goes to the correct location for testing,” Worthy said. “For patients experiencing less-severe symptoms, it will likely save you time and money to go to the appropriate site.”
On Aug. 27, Wild Health started doing free rapid COVID-19 testing at 95 Bryan Boulevard, Corbin from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Appointments are offered every five minutes, Baptist Health Corbin recently announced.
“I would encourage anyone not vaccinated to make an appointment today as we are seeing a rise in positive COVID patients in our community again,” stressed Powers.
Mays noted that within two hours of the Wild Health testing center opening, 25 patients had already been tested.
In order to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, the CDC is now recommending that everyone, including those fully vaccinated, should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. This includes the tri-county area and other surrounding counties as they all remain in the red zone.