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National Guard begins work at Ohio Co. Healthcare

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 1:41 PM CDT
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OHIO CO., Ky. (WFIE) - The Kentucky National Guard has arrived at Ohio County.

Last week, the governor assigned them to help workers at Ohio County Healthcare in Hartford.

Ten National Guardsmen arrived Monday and began working Tuesday morning to assist hospital staff as Ohio Co. Health nears full capacity.

Ohio County Health is one of 21 Kentucky hospitals receiving aid following Governor Andy Beshear’s announcement.

They are here to assist the staff in any way possible, including doing laundry, answering phone calls, moving equipment and more.

2nd Lt. Matthew Chinn says that he and his team were willing to answer this call to help their community.

“We’re taking some of the skills we learned in the military,” Chinn said. “We’re here to help out with anything so that the nursing staff can focus on the patients, and they won’t have to worry so much about the more clerical stuff.”

Hospital officials say they have bounced back and forth between full and near-full capacity over the last few weeks.

“We’ve actually reached three year all time highs for the number of patients,” Director of Community Relations at Ohio Co. Healthcare, CeCe Robinson said. “We are at near capacity and we have reached capacity at times.”

Prior to the National Guard’s arrival, Ohio Co. Healthcare set up a mobile COVID triage unit to help separate COVID patients from non-COVID patients.

“We’ve had pretty steady volumes of patients treated in that COVID ER annex,” Robinson said. ”What that does is it allows our ER to have open capacity to treat non-COVID emergencies.”

The National Guard will stay at Ohio Co. Healthcare for 2-4 weeks as they do everything they can to assist hospital staff and allow them to focus on treating sick patients.

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