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Hospital admissions for long-term care residents down significantly locally

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - As the number of vaccines go up, the hospital rate is going down. Hospitalizations of long-term care facility patients have decreased. Officials are attributing the change to the vaccine, among other factors.

“The residents and the staff and the families all are looking forward to the day where we can get back to some sense of normalcy like it was prior to the pandemic,” said Eric Hagan, Vice President of Rural Hospitals with Med Center Health, about residents and staff at Cal Turner Rehab.

Med Center Health says with some of the highest admissions from long-term care facilities in November and December, they have seen a decrease by about half each month since many residents were vaccinated.

“I think everybody’s seeing something similar and that the vaccine is playing a big part in what we’re saying, as far as residents that are getting sick or needing to be hospitalized,” said Hagan.

While they began vaccinations mid-December, residents and staff at the Medical Center’s Cal Turner Rehab in Scottsville continue to be vaccinated.

“We get new admissions, we get new people coming into the facility. And so that number changes. And when they come into the facility, we offer the vaccine to them. Not everybody readily adopted or took the vaccine when it was first available,” explained Hagan.

Officials believe 70 percent of residents will be vaccinated by April. That threshold is the new guidance for accepting in-person visitors at long-term care facilities for the state.

“If somebody has not taken the vaccine or doesn’t wish to take the vaccine, we’re still allowing the visitation. Obviously, it would be the same process, they would wear the masks, do hand hygiene, we would screen them to make sure that they’re not in quarantine,” said Hagan.

With 91 residents, the Cal Turner facility has had eight total cases and two deaths during the pandemic. Among 80 staff members, 10 have been positive. However, there has not had a positive case in several months following the vaccine.

“Obviously, it’s protecting people and keeping people from getting sick,” said Hagan.

Currently, in the state of Kentucky, there are 118 active resident cases and 129 active staff cases.

Hagan says other factors that may contribute to the low hospital rate include natural immunity and patients that have had the virus and received the monoclonal antibody infusion treatment early on.

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