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COVID-19 UPDATE – CEO, Leslie Marsh

As we move into a new month I wanted to provide a quick update on our overall hospital experience with COVID 19.  As you can see, hospital activity continues to trend downward.  While we do still transfer out the sickest patients to area hospitals, the transfers are decreasing while the discharges back to home are increasing – YAY!!  

This time has been filled with uncertainty. We hope that having actual data helps all of you get a better sense of what is occurring on this level anyway.  While we can manage patients on ventilators, it is best to transfer these patients to hospitals that have the ability to provide high-flow oxygen and ventilation both; they also have more staff to monitor these severely ill patients.  

So, early on you can see that we have very sick patients showing up at the hospital.  While this hospital data can be used to suggest what our actual positive case rate is, it is not precise and as more information becomes available that percentage of total cases seeking care might change.  Right now, the experts say that approximately five percent of positive cases require hospitalization and 1 – 2 percent of those require more intensive care, like high flow oxygen and ventilator care.  If we use that assumption, we would say that during this time frame, we had about 650 or so positive cases in the hospital district.  The experts also say that up to 50% of those positive cases are people with mild or no symptoms at all.  So, since we cannot know who has COVID and who does not, we should continue to wash our hands (for 20 seconds), refrain from touching our face, ensure that we keep at least 6 feet (some sources say 10 feet) away from each other, wear masks when outside our house and, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.  Those acts will help keep people safe and healthy, particularly as the state begins to re-open.  

While we do not know a lot about what happens next – this is just snapshot of this outbreak, we do have some tools to reduce infection transmission and we have the support of one another.  Lexington, like other rural communities, has shown itself to be a community that cares deeply.  We showcase what #RURALSTRONG means and wow, what a privilege and honor it is to be a part of this awesome community.  The LRHC team has been awed and uplifted by the endless and selfless support shown by the courageous, tenacious, and compassionate people of strong character who make up this community.  

After scrolling through all the quotes about crisis and character they all seem to mostly say this:  Crisis reveals our character, often teaching us more about ourselves, our friends and our community than we would otherwise ever know.  Or as Emma Jameson says; “We need to remember that circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal a person.”.  While crisis can bring out the best and worst in people, there will be a time when we are not in crisis and as MLK Jr. famously said; ‘The time is always right to do what is right’.