Pulaski County sees surge in COVID patients ahead of flu season

NOW: Pulaski County sees surge in COVID patients ahead of flu season

PULASKI, Ind. --- The emergency room at Pulaski Memorial has seen 70 COVID positive patients within the past two weeks. Communications Director Brian Ledley tells ABC57 this number has increased significantly since the start of this month and it's bringing some major concerns ahead of flu season.

“Our ER staff is really getting hit hard with it. They're taking the full brunt of it and then you have our medical surgical work staff sort of having that overflow. Plus, other illness that is out in the area as well, so it's been very busy here," said Ledley.

Like many nationwide the staff at Pulaski Memorial Hospital have been caring for critical access patients with limited resources.

Having only 25 beds available their medical task force has been transferring COVID patients to higher level of care hospitals in order to keep up with quality patient care.

"ICU bed capacity throughout the state is becoming increasingly more sort of limited so it is a struggle to get people out. We've had to keep people take 'em out of our ER and put 'em onto our floor or hold 'em until we can get 'em transferred out," said Ledley.

According to Ledley COVID cases have increased within the county significantly since July.

While they have been keeping up with testing demand for residents despite being one of the few sites available -- he says staff are doing the best they can to keep up with the influx of serious COVID patients they've seen within the past two weeks.

“You know there's more than just COVID again we're seeing RSV in kids. We're seeing flu start a little bit and they all have the same symptoms so the medical staff is just being cautious testing people, but unfortunately with sort of a low vaccination rate in the county we're just seeing more sick people with COVID," said Ledley.

About 50 percent of people who are eligible within the county have been vaccinated, but Ledley says while it's not only COVID that's caused the hospitalization rates to increase-- he just hopes residents who are still on the fence about the vaccine will consider it, to help prevent serious cases moving into the winter season.

"Right now the vaccine is truly our best weapon to get out of this virus so, talk to your primary care provider about getting it because they will give you the facts they'll talk to about some of the side effects and what to expect, but also give you the benefits of why the vaccine is so important," said Ledley.

Pulaski Memorial has COVID testing at various times throughout the week as long as you have a provider request. You can find more info on the testing times here.

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