Restore, Recover, and Get Vaccinated; Focus of Evangelical Hospital Heading into Spring
LEWISBURG – Vaccination and mitigation efforts may be helping to curb the spread of COVID-19, Evangelical Community Hospital President and CEO Kendra Aucker says as they are seeing trends head in the right direction, “We’ve only tested just over 800 patients at our alternative testing site, so there’s a two week rolling positivity rate of 12.57 percent. At our peak, we were in the 30 percent of people being tested had COVID.”
Aucker attributes getting past the holiday season and says Evangelical is slowing ramping back up again, “Starting next week, we’re consolidating from a non-COVID and COVID ICU back into one ICU. So, I would tell you that internally it’s a gradual ramp up so that we can get back to fully operating our operating rooms.”
Aucker says hospital staff and physicians are appreciating the reprieve and people are tired. She recalls a recent conversation she had with the head of their ICU and critical care medicine, Dr. Ashburn, “He reminded me of something so basic in his own training. You go to school to become a critical care physician to take people at their worst and help them recover.”
Aucker adds, “During the pandemic, when you got people into the ICU, you were really sick and you really weren’t going to recover. So, in their roles, they were giving people comfort care and helping people be comfortable in their passing.”
Aucker says they are looking at ways to help staff restore and recover, while also knowing that it’s not necessarily over and will continue to see COVID patients, especially as with so much unknown on the variants.
Aucker says Evangelical is focused on the vaccination process and getting as many people vaccinated as possible.