A Somerset-based hospital is one of many across Kentucky, and nation, struggling with the spike in COVID-19 patients, while trying to recruit more staff.
Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital currently has 26 patients in two COVID-19 units.
“We are aware of a few who were vaccinated who have been admitted. But there’s no question that the overwhelming majority of patients admitted, at least at our hospital, are unvaccinated," said hospital CEO Robert Parker.
He said he wants the communities his hospital serves to understand the severity of the situation faced by his staff.
“The way I would describe it is, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital is operating at the very edge of our capacity, both in terms of staff and bed capacity," said Parker. "However, we’re able to function properly and take care of our patients and we want patients to still come into the facility if they need care. It is important, though, for our community to know that we are operating at that edge of capacity.”
The average age of the hospital's current COVID patients is 55, compared to last year when average age of patients was the late 60s.
Parker said the hospital is also busy with non-COVID patients and is actively recruiting staff. Hospital representatives are attending job fairs and using social media and word-of-mouth in the effort to hire staff for several departments, including nursing and respiratory therapy, as well as housekeeping and food services.
The Pulaski County-based hospital is continuing its push to get more residents in the regional vaccinated against COVID-19.
Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital has already administered more than 17,000 vaccine doses, and has hosted vaccine clinics for organizations and large manufacturing plants in its 10-county region to help curb the spread of the virus.