The letter from Baptist Health Systems IN and KY was released hours ago late Thanksgiving Eve with a stark warning concerning hospital bed capacity.
It's been only hours and Baptist Health Systems KY and IN have publicized press releases for limited numbers of visitors within some of their hospitals as well as a stark warning about the limits to its resources in regards to critical care beds for COVID-19 patients.
As midnight approached on Thanksgiving Eve, there were at least two announcements made from the hospital system. According to a September 2020 report, Baptist Health Systems and its nine hospitals have 2,700 licensed beds. The system has been ranked among the top hospitals in patient care for a number of years. As information is being released by the Chief Medical Officers, it's time to take notice and heed warnings.
Beginning Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020, Baptist Health in Paducah is initiating a no visitors policy. The hospital is restricting visitation to all COVID-19 patients, emergency department patients, inpatients and/or critical care patients, surgery and/or cardiac catheterization lab patients, and outpatient oncology treatment settings and radiation therapy.
There will be no visitors allowed at Baptist Health Group locations, with exceptions allowing one caregiver for children under the age of 18 and end of life patients. There will be exceptions and those are listed below.
In addition to the no visitor policy in our local area, the Chief Medical Officers for the entire Baptist Health Systems released a letter almost simultaneously. In the letter it said, "COVID-19 cases in our community is rapidly rising and our hospital beds are filling with those too ill to quarantine at home and care for themselves. It is critically important that we take action now."
The letter continues discussing how we can do better to stop the spread of COVID-19. The stark warning is going out on Thanksgiving eve as a cautionary tale for this Thanksgiving holiday. Don't mingle families. Stay at home. Mask up. These are just a few of the strong recommendations. The letter continues to say that there's no full proof way to stop the virus. That's why it's so important to implement them all.
Many of you know those that have suffered with the disease, are suffering with the virus, or have died. As we prepare to say our 'thanks' for the many blessings remember those that are going through the worst time of their lives. It's important to think of others.
As we shop for Christmas, remember all the warnings and recommendations heard for the Thanksgiving holiday. The same applies to shopping, family and friend gatherings, and all events that require participation from those outside the immediate family. Continued below are the limited exceptions to the no visitor restrictions at Baptist Health Paducah and the letter from the Chief Medical Officers KY and IN.
Dependent patients and patients under age 18 (the visitor must be a parent or guardian.)
Maternity/labor and delivery. One support person may accompany the mother to labor and delivery and their postpartum room.
Neonatal intensive care: The mother and a support person (two bracelet holders) will be allowed.
Hospice or end of life patients will be allowed one or two family members 24/7.
Clergy will be allowed for end of life and hospice patients.