RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — Every day, close to 200 cars roll through the drive-through testing at Baptist Health Richmond.
"We developed this testing line because people were coming into our emergency room just to get COVID tested, and we're trying to make sure that we use our resources in the smartest way possible," said Dr. Erica Gregonis with Baptist Health Richmond.
The last time numbers were available, the positivity rate of those tested at the hospital was 18.4%.
Dr. Erica Gregonis says over the course of the past few months, the hospital has rescheduled or canceled many elective procedures because resources continue to be stretched thin.
The hospital currently has help from 19 National Guard members.
At one point last week, teams at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant were asked to temporarily stop destroying chemical agents because there were not enough hospital beds at the two Madison County hospitals in the event of an accident at the site.
Currently, there are 30 COVID-positive in-patients at Baptist Health Richmond. Eight of those are in the ICU.
Of the 30 patients, Dr. Gregonis says 26 are unvaccinated.
Despite the rising number of cases, less than half of the people who live in the county are fully vaccinated.
"I take care of COVID patients all the time. I have yet to take care of a patient in the hospital with a vaccine-related side effect. I think it's an easy decision to make at this point, to get vaccinated and to prevent me from seeing you in the ICU," said Dr. Gregonis.
"Each of us can make a difference to lessen the burden on these people that we consider our healthcare heroes. So each person and each organization needs to consider their actions and activities regardless of what others may be choosing to do to protect themselves and others from the continued spread of the virus," said Kelley McBride from the Madison County Health Department.
There's a small glimmer of hope in the most recent numbers released. Two weeks ago, nearly 1,000 people in Madison County tested positive over a seven-day stretch. This past week, that number was 668.