PIKEVILLE, KY (WOWK) – Doctors and health experts at Pikeville Medical Center say their hospitalizations are not only overwhelming but concerning. With the spread of the delta variant, they say they’re seeing sicker and more transmissible patients.
“We’re not at a crisis point right now but the reason that we’re here is because we’re worried that we will be,” said Dr. Aaron Crum, Pikeville Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer.
Health officials say they are overwhelmed and running out of room in their hospital. “When you get to those points where you have to go through contingency staffing or alternate ways to take care of patients that’s a scary thing,” says Crum.
To put it in perspective, on June 24, PMC had three COVID-19 patients in their hospital. Today that number is at 74.
“Two were in the ward and only one was in the ICU at the time. Only three. The map looked different then, how we were interacting was different then compared to what it looks like today which is every single county except for one in the red,” said Donovan Blackburn, Pikeville Medical Center President & CEO.
They say getting the vaccine, masking up and following the guidelines are the only way to get the virus under control and say it’s taking an emotional toll on their employees.
“This is the only time in their lives where people are coming to the intensive care unit and they were dying and they shouldn’t be dying.”Dr. Aaron Crum, Chief Medical Officer at Pikeville Medical Center
Like other hospitals in Kentucky, Pikeville Medical Center has a vaccine mandate for all of its employees. However, they do have some incentives in place for those who are unvaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting their vaccine.