Another COVID-19 death, Baptist Health opens walk-in clinic 

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One additional death has been reported for Madison County for a total of 127 deaths as well as 145 new cases as of Thursday evening according to the state's COVID-19 dashboard.

As of Friday, Baptist Health Richmond has 30 individuals they are treating for the virus. Twenty-five of those are unvaccinated, and five of whom have received the shot. In the intensive care unit there are six people being treated. Five cases are unvaccinated and one case is reported to be vaccinated.

Due to steady high volumes of patients, the hospital has been implementing updated measures to fight against COVID. Their most recent is to open a walk-in clinic with Baptist Health Medical Group Family Medicine. The clinic is open at Baptist Health Richmond Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will provide patients an additional option to seeking care for symptoms such as fever, sore throat, stomach aches, sinus congestion, migraines, skin infections and pink eye, according to a press release.

"The opening of the walk-in clinic is an enormous resource to ensure our Emergency Department can provide care for patients with emergencies, such as chest pain and shortness of breath,” said Erica Gregonis, MD, Baptist Health Richmond chief medical officer. “When patients arrive at the hospital, they will choose if they want to seek care in the Emergency Department or walk-in clinic; however, we strongly encourage patients who don’t have a true emergency to consider using the services in the walk-in clinic.”

With the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital, the release noted the wait times in the Emergency Department are longer than the community is accustomed to experiencing. The hospital encourages patients to take advantage of the walk-in clinic to help reduce their wait time and provide easier access for patients who are experiencing an emergency.

This measure follows the hospital's greeting to service members with the National Guard arriving to help the healthcare employees earlier this week.

According to Sergeant Allen Royalty, the guardsmen are helping to perform non-clinical logistical and administrative tasks to help relieve hospital staff to directly assist patients.

"We are not directly assisting patients in a medical or clinical capacity," he said.

The current mission at the hospital is temporary and runs through the end of the month, but timelines are subject to reevaluation by the governor's office.

"The hospital support mission really showcases the Kentucky National Guard's Citizen-Soldier and Citizen-Airman mentality as our Soldiers and Airmen are from the communities they support," Royalty said. "While our mission is temporary, it highlights the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated."

The vaccination rate is inching towards 50% for the county with a 48.75% vaccination rate.

Since the pandemic arrived in March of 2020, 14,285 positive cases of the virus have been confirmed by Madison County. The area also remains classified as a 'red zone' with an incident rate of 106.5. cases per 100,000 population, per day.

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