ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) — The rates of infection in the Bluegrass State are staying high.
Healthcare workers at King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Ashland were getting their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.
According to the Kentucky COVID-19 dashboard, nearly all of Kentucky’s counties are in the “red” category, indicating high rates of infection.
For example, Boyd County has a positivity rate of more than 10%, and local health officials are noticing a trend.
“The cases are as bad as they’ve ever been, the one difference being it’s mainly in the unvaccinated,” says Tom Dearing, director of marketing and public relations for KDMC.
“Last week at King’s Daughters, for instance, we had 59 people hospitalized with COVID. Of those, 49 were unvaccinated and ten were vaccinated. Also last week, we had 13 people in the ICU for COVID, all of them unvaccinated. In the ICU, there are six people on ventilators, all of them unvaccinated,” Dearing says.
The state saw nearly five thousand new cases on the first of this month.
“It’s at the point where our providers and our nurses are working as hard as they can. We have delayed some care because of the room we’re taking for our COVID patients,” Dearing says.
With the vaccination rate in Boyd County around 40 percent, those working within the community are hopeful that number will rise.
“I do think some people are listening to the real facts that are out there and the different things that we’re putting out that are true and not myths…There is some hesitancy but I do think people are becoming more educated on the process of vaccination and how it’s manufactured and the safety measures we’ve taken to make it safe,” says Tracy Woods, LPN, outreach specialist at community services at KDMC.
Healthcare workers reiterate: getting the vaccine will help mitigate the worst effects of the disease.
“My philosophy on getting the vaccine: it’s going to keep you out of the hospital, keep you out of the ICU, and keep you off a ventilator, and keep you out of the morgue,” Woods says.
Dearing says they have given more than 77,000 doses of the vaccination since December, and they are planning on doing extra vaccination clinics for the public soon.
They encourage everyone to continue to take the precautions of washing their hands, wearing a mask, and staying six feet away from individuals due to the high rate of this COVID-19 spread.