Logan County hospitals see COVID-19 numbers decrease

Alex Gladden
Booneville Democrat
Mercy - Booneville entrance as seen, Wednesday, Jan. 13.

Both Logan County hospitals are experiencing a drop in COVID patients. 

At Mercy Booneville Hospital, there are only two possible cases of COVID in the facility as of Feb. 24. Both are awaiting test results, said Kimberly Russell, the Booneville hospital director of nursing. 

The Mercy Paris Hospital had no COVID cases as of Feb. 24, according to April Mayo, the Paris hospital director of nursing. 

“They are slowly dropping off," Mayo said. 

The lowering of the number of COVID patients falls in line with national numbers where there are fewer COVID cases.

Russell attributed the decrease in COVID patients to the rise in the number of people getting vaccinated. 

“I really like the declining numbers, makes my job a lot easier," Russell said. 

Russell said that she has been seeing more people wearing masks and social distancing, and she thinks that is playing a part in the reduced number of cases. 

Mayo has seen the decrease in COVID numbers throughout the past two to three weeks. 

This is a big change from January when COVID numbers were still increasing, and Paris' 13-bed hospital consistently stayed at 80% capacity and struggled to find beds or staff members to treat the surge of COVID patients

At both hospitals, almost 100% of the staff has been vaccinated. 

“Well I think because of the line of work that they’re in and potential exposures," Russell said. 

Most people got vaccinated to avoid the risk of taking the virus home to their families, Russell said. 

In Paris, the hospital has seen about 95% of its staff get vaccinated, Mayo said. Those who have not yet gotten vaccinated have generally been recovering from the virus. 

“We’ve had a very good turnout," Mayo said. 

Mayo thinks a lot of people have gotten vaccinated to avoid the unknowns of COVID. 

At both hospitals, staff members are still following strict protocols to protect people from COVID. 

“We have basically not changed anything that we’re doing even though the numbers are going down," Russell said. 

At both the Paris and Booneville hospitals, one nurse is put in charge of the COVID patients to limit the number of people who come into contact with those patients.

The hospitals also use separate equipment for COVID patients and regular patients and that equipment is cleaned between each patient. 

“We’re doing a lot of extra cleaning within the hospital," said Russell, who added that nurses use personal protective equipment when dealing with COVID patients.

In Mercy Paris, nurses wear masks at all times except when they are on break and six feet away from other people. 

COVID patients are also not allowed to have visitors.

Map: How quickly are states administering the COVID-19 vaccine?

Email: wgladden@gannett.com 

Twitter: gladlyalex