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Helen Keller Hospital sees highest number of coronavirus patients just before Christmas

At its peak on Monday the hospital was caring for 51 coronavirus patients.

Posted: Dec 23, 2020 4:19 PM

Helen Keller Hospital just saw its highest number of coronavirus patients this week.

Just two days ago there were 51 coronavirus patients in the hospital. Now they are back down to 43 but preparing for more people to come in around the start of the new year.

"A high percentage of our patients are extremely sick," said Hospital president Kyle Buchanan.

Right now the hospital has 27 coronavirus patients who are critical or almost critical.

"We're not slowing down nearly as much going into Friday and really hoping we can manage the volume we've got, while fully expecting the first week of January that our normal rush to get to the ER and folks that haven't felt well for days tend to seek help that first week in the new year so we're preparing for that normal flow as well as what we're dealing with today," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said they won't have time to really rest this year but seeing a long-time coronavirus patient, Michael Greenhill, finally get to go home reminds his staff why they fight so hard against this virus.

"They became a part of our family because he was here for several weeks. We became really connected. We joined their church in our parking lot in a prayer vigil for him and really banded together to see how we could get him home," said Buchanan.

Greenhill will be in a rehab facility for about three weeks according to his family.

WAAY 31 asked the hospital what its role would be in vaccinating those with underlying conditions and people over the age of 75. It said right now they haven't reached that statewide phase yet and are still focusing on vaccinating frontline workers.

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