Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center reaches morgue capacity

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Sep 02, 2021

HAZARD, Ky. (LEX 18) — COVID-19 cases continue to climb, and so do issues within our hospitals.

Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center reached a concerning new tier as far as resources go -- they have reached morgue capacity.

"We have never been at this mass capacity," said Tonya McCown, who is the Community Chief Nursing Officer.

In Perry County, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report the positivity rate is 19 percent over the last seven days.

"We do use our morgue but we have never been at a capacity where we've had to reach out for assistance," McCown said.

This comes on a day when Kentucky reported its second-highest number of cases in a given day -- exceeding 5,000.

"We knew with the delta variant that we would bring back some high numbers for us," McCown said. "School starting back, summer vacations, people relaxing with their masking. We did know we were going to see some high numbers again."

So as yet another hospital in our state is stretched thin, McCown says they have 191 COVID-19 patients across the ARH system and 181 of those are unvaccinated patients.

"For Hazard, we are a small community, but we provide a lot of services and we do help our sister hospitals," McCown said. "It is important to know that when you hear that we are reaching capacity, that we're still working hard.

In a Facebook post, hospital leaders say looking elsewhere for a morgue location is only taken as a "last resort."

You can schedule an appointment to get vaccinated through ARH by clicking here.