Rep. Guthrie discusses vaccination effort at Owensboro Health

Coronavirus Watch Kentucky

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie was at Owensboro Health, learning more about vaccinations in the Tri-State.

His visit happens less than a week after Senator Mitch McConnell’s appearance.

“To get us back to normal, the vaccine is really going to make a difference,” he said. That difference, both he and doctors at Owensboro Health say, is being made since vaccinations started last December.

“At our peak, we were admitting about 50 patients, 55 patients in the hospital with COVID, symptomatic COVID. Now, we’re routinely in the single digits,” said Francis DuFrayne, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Owensboro Health.

About 67,000 doses administered at Owensboro Health as of last week. Statewide, nearly 1.5 million Kentuckians got at least one dose. The state’s positivity rate stands at less than 3%.

“It’s been amazing that how this system has come together,” said Rep. Guthrie, R-Kentucky. “One, developing the vaccines, having the manufacturing of the vaccines, the distribution of the vaccines, and then having the local entities creating the right way to get the vaccines to their citizens.” He also says the commonwealth can open up more as long as hospital capacity is managed.

“Now that you have the most vulnerable vaccinated, or at least offered to the most vulnerable, I think that’s when you start opening up again,” he said.

Dr. DuFrayne says they haven’t seen cases stemming from new variants so far. He also says the CDC’s newest guidance on cleaning surfaces to stop the spread doesn’t change much on the best ways to prevent illness.

“I really think the thing that works is what we’ve been speaking about all along, and that is masks, social distancing, washing your hands. We know that it can stay on some surfaces for a while, but is that really infectious or contagious, we don’t really think so,” he said.

Dr. DuFrayne says they’ll continue targeting underserved communities or groups where they’re seeing more vaccine hesitancy as part of their effort to get more vaccinations done.

(This story was originally published on April 6, 2021)

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