Kentucky National Guard starts helping at Ohio Co. Healthcare

Coronavirus Watch

HARTFORD, Ky. (WEHT) In Kentucky, help is arriving at hospitals across the commonwealth.

More than 300 members of the Kentucky National Guard are helping at Ohio County Healthcare, and others.

The Kentucky National Guard’s arrival here at Ohio County Healthcare, and at other hospitals across the commonwealth, happens as hospital officials here report the highest ER and inpatient volume they’re seeing in about three years.

“Healthcare industries across the nation are having staffing shortages,” said CeCe Robinson of Ohio Co. Healthcare.

Ten guard members arrived Monday to help a community with which some are very familiar.

“We actually have one of our members that is from Hartford,” said SSG Rick Montgomery of the Kentucky National Guard.

They’re some of the more than 300 sent to 21 hospitals across the state to help with non-medical jobs so doctors and nurses can focus more on caring for patients. They’re expected to be at Ohio County Healthcare for at least two weeks.

“We’re going to be utilizing the Kentucky National Guard to help us set up a holding area for patients who are ready for admittance into our hospital or ready to be transferred to another facility,” Robinson explained.

“Anything to free up staff that are getting tied down, whether it’s just cleaning or helping with simple tasks that we can help so that they can focus on the more important things with the patients,” SSG Montgomery adds.

Ohio County Healthcare officials say they have 12 COVID patients as of this afternoon, and none are on a ventilator. They’re testing about a hundred patients a day, getting a 12% positivity rate.

“Being able to take care of some of the burden that they’ve been dealing with, covering with people that they’re short on, so that they can best serve the patients, so that we can help them get ahead of the curve,” said 2nd Lt. Matthew Chinn of the Kentucky National Guard.

National guard members tell us the exact length of their stay here at Ohio County Healthcare will be determined by the governor’s office.

(This story was originally published on September 13, 2021)

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