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Kearney Regional urging vaccinations against COVID-19 as cases rise

Kearney Regional Medical Center logo
Kearney Regional Medical Center logo(Kearney Regional Medical Center)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 9:20 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney Regional Medical Center is urging everyone who is able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so. This comes as the region continues to see a rise in cases of the virus.

“We are seeing more sick patients here,” said Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Brent Crandall during an all-staff virtual town hall earlier this month. “COVID is coming back whether we like it or not. And the common denominator recently is who’s vaccinated and who’s not.”

During the peak of the pandemic in November of last year, KRMC averaged 13.5 COVID+ positive patients per day. In contrast, in the month of June, there were only three days where a single COVID+ patient was hospitalized at KRMC.

In the first week of August, KRMC saw 10 COVID+ patients, and numbers are remaining steady.

Total inpatient admits for COVID-19 at Kearney Regional Medical Center.
Total inpatient admits for COVID-19 at Kearney Regional Medical Center.(Kearney Regional Medical Center)

CEO Bill Calhoun said, “One diagnosis should not take up a large percentage of a hospital, and if it does, we should be alarmed. The spread of COVID is still a concern at KRMC, as such we have strict policies in place to reduce transmission and to protect our patients, our staff and our community.”

In compliance with OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Healthcare, KRMC has a facility policy in place requiring masking of all patients, staff, and visitors. Masking has proven to be an effective tool against the spread of the virus.

While vaccines are still under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), staff are not required to be vaccinated. More than 70 percent of staff and 90 percent of physicians are vaccinated, and administrators are hoping to see that number continue to rise. In the last week there has been an increase in request for vaccination.

In his town hall message Dr. Crandall pleaded with staff, “There will be more variants to come unless we do something. We are seeing more patients in the hospital; there are patients in the Emergency Department right now with COVID as we speak. We’ve got to get it done. It’s time. We were gone for a while, but it’s coming back. We don’t have a perfect answer on how to eradicate this virus, but we can protect ourselves, and one of the big tools we have is vaccine. It’s the best that we can do to curtail this and stop the sickness that we’re seeing.”

COVID-19 vaccination requirements and exemptions are being evaluated on an ongoing basis by the Hospital Incidence Command System (HICS) which includes hospital and clinic administrators, managers, infection preventionists, and physicians.

For more information about COVID-19, click HERE. To make an appointment to be vaccinated, contact Platte Valley Medical Clinic at 308-856-2263.

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