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Hospital ICUs at capacity

SALYERSVILLE – COVID-19 cases continue to increase exponentially each week, currently, with hospitals reaching capacity in the ICU.

The Magoffin County Health Department confirmed for Mortimer Media Group that there were 16 new cases Friday, seven Saturday, four Sunday, six Monday, 15 Tuesday and 10 by press time on Wednesday. Of the 10 on Wednesday, none of the cases were “breakthrough cases,” or cases involving patients who had been vaccinated, and all of the 10 were 60 years old and younger. At press time, three Magoffin Countians are hospitalized with COVID-19. Currently, there are 69 active cases in Magoffin County and 1,262 total cases since the pandemic began. To date, 26 COVID-related deaths have been reported from Magoffin.

The most troubling part of the current local statistics revolves around the number of ICU beds available.

The Magoffin County Health Department shared the current data from the state on three of the local hospitals.

At Highlands ARH there are 31 COVID-19 patients, seven in ICU, and five of those on a ventilator. In total, Highlands has 12 ICU beds, which are 100% occupied at press time. They are at 56.9% capacity for inpatient beds, but the state prefaced the statistic with the fact that is the percent of beds occupied, but not all of the beds are staffed, with that number actually expected to be higher if you take into account how many can be staffed.

Similarly, Paul B. Hall Medical Center has 11 COVID-19 patients, five of which are in ICU, and two of them on a ventilator. Paul B. Hall is also at 100% capacity in the ICU, with all seven ICU beds occupied and five of those COVID. According to the information from the state, Paul B. Hall is at 43.2% capacity for inpatient beds, but once, again, that doesn’t take into account the number staff available, just the beds.

Pikeville Medical Center has 58 COVID-19 patients, 16 of those in ICU and nine of those on the ventilator. PMC is at 72.6% capacity for ICU beds and 50.8% inpatient beds.

All three hospitals were well below 50% capacity of ventilators, but ICU beds and staffing seems to be a statewide problem, currently, with the sharp spike in cases.

At press time 108 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are in the red category, including Magoffin County.

Also available in this region, people can still call or go online to get on the vaccine list at any of the following providers: Walgreens, multiple Big Sandy Healthcare locations, Paul B. Hall Medical Center, Highlands ARH, Pikeville Medical Center, Kings Daughters in Ashland, ARH West Liberty and Saint Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.

As with any vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% effective at keeping you from getting the virus, however, they greatly decrease the chances of you catching it and, much like the flu shot, if you get the virus after being fully vaccinated you are much less likely to have severe symptoms.


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