Doctors: Kentucky hospitals have enough room amidst summertime COVID-19 surge

Posted at 9:43 AM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 10:20:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As a summertime COVID-19 surge causes thousands of new cases a week in Kentucky, hospital administrators tell us they are not overwhelmed even as they deal with other challenges.

Hospitals have enough beds and ventilators but the pandemic is still causing staffing issues and supply chain shortages.

LEX 18 spoke with physicians who say people aren't becoming as sick thanks in part to the vaccine and previous exposure to the virus.

"Most of the people who are here are not incredibly sick and those who are tend to be immunosuppressed in some way," said Dr. Ashley Montgomery-Yates, UK HealthCare.

"At least in our community, with all the COVID positives we've had, we really haven't had a lot of sick people," said Dr. Cory Ryan.

Dr. Ryan works at Wayne County Hospital. He says hospital conditions have greatly improved since December when 90% of ICU beds across Kentucky were occupied. The facility is staying busy as cases surge once again.

Equipment is no longer an issue. Instead, the focus has turned to adequate staffing.

"That's just an issue that's been going on, I think it worsened with COVID because healthcare providers left the industry some," said Dr. Ryan.

It's COVID-19 surges across the globe causing supply chain issues for hospitals like UK HealthCare. For example, a recent outbreak in Shanghai sparked a shortage of contrast dye used for CT scans.

"It's just this constant reshuffling of our workflows to make sure we're taking care of the people who are the sickest and need us the most," said Dr. Montgomery-Yates.

Doctors are still urging vaccinations, boosters, and masking up indoors when necessary.