Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) announced that it will be moving to a zero-visitor policy beginning Tuesday due to the high number of COVID-19 cases statewide.
Meanwhile, area COVID numbers keeping going up, and Lake Cumberland District Health Department (LCDHD) officials are still falling behind in completing case investigations.
Hospital officials announced Monday that it would be transitioning from its limited visitor restrictions to a zero-visitor stance, “out of an abundance of caution and to protect the health and safety of its patients, visitors and staff as COVID-19 cases increase statewide.”
The new policy will last for at least two weeks, but LCRH staff are advising it will last “until further notice.”
“Our hospital’s top priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our patients, providers, employees and community,” said Robert Parker, chief executive officer (CEO) of LCRH. “We continue to closely monitor the prevalence of the virus in our community as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients, and we feel confident that this is the right move to make, although we hope that these new restrictions will not be in place long-term.”
Exceptions to the zero-visitor rule include:
- Obstetric patients may have one visitor.
- Patients under the age of 18 may have one parent or guardian with them.
- Immediate family and clergy can visit during end-of-life care
- Emergency Department patients may have one visitor with them.
With all of these exceptions, the visitor must be at least 16 years old and will be screened upon entry. Visitors must wear a mask at all times.
Visitors will not be allowed in for patients who are high-risk, in isolation, immunocompromised, under observation for COVID or have tested positive for COVID.
The new restrictions are not meant to be a deterrent for those in serious need of health care, Parker said.
“We want to encourage those facing a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, to seek care immediately,” he said. “Do not delay care in the event of a life-threatening health event or a necessary surgery. We have the proper safety measures, PPE, and teams in place to care for you.”
Pulaski County’s weekly report of the number of newly diagnosed cases painted a picture of rapid COVID spread in the community.
For the week ending Saturday, Nov. 14, Pulaski had 226 new COVID cases, up from the 176 cases diagnosed the week before.
As of Sunday evening, Pulaski had 195 current active cases, with 12 people hospitalized and the rest in isolation.
Across the district, there are 899 active cases, with 48 people hospitalized. The district saw 886 new cases diagnosed last week, up from 631 cases the week before.
Health officials said the district’s hospitalization rate is 6.79, meaning around one out of every 15 people who contract the virus require hospitalization.
As with the past few daily updates, health department officials said they were still behind on case investigations and contact tracing.
“As of today (Saturday), we are two to four days behind,” officials said. “We are also behind in entering data into the state system causing the numbers the new cases the Governor reports and the number of counties he reports as being in the ‘red-critical’ range of community-spread is off.”
Through the local health department website, LCDHD is reporting that nine out of 10 counties are in the Red zone, including Pulaski. McCreary County is the only county in the Orange zone.