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Helen Keller Hospital sees slight downward trend in coronavirus hospitalizations

The hospital president said even though they have less coronavirus patients, it's not a time to become complacent in safety.

Posted: Aug 13, 2020 12:28 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2020 9:50 PM

On Thursday, Helen Keller Hospital said there are 15 patients in its coronavirus unit. The hospital said of those 15 patients, five are receiving critical care and three are on ventilators.

Two weeks ago, the hospital had 33 patients in the coronavirus unit. Fifteen of those patients were critical and five on ventilators.

Helen Keller Hospital President Kyle Buchanan said the lowering hospital numbers don't mean people can start to relax.

"We know we can't let up and we can quickly go back to 33 if we're not careful or we could reduce it to three or five total," said Buchanan. "We do realize that masks work and we do see a ton of commitment in the Shoals in trying to do the right things, and so we think that's what's contributing to the downward trend."

Buchanan said even with this slight relief, the hospital is still prepared for a worst-case scenario, especially with most schools in the Shoals starting in the next two weeks.

"We are prepared to handle an influx of cases if that's what we see. We hope not to see that and we realize several of the superintendents are taking very precautious measures to prepare for that, but as a healthcare institution, we have to be prepared for the worst and we are prepared for that," said Buchanan.

He also added that people cannot get complacent or think coronavirus is done.

"It makes no sense to go in a different direction at this point. We have to continue moving forward with masking and social distancing and ensuring that schools reopen to continue to see the downward trend," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said if they do see an increased number of coronavirus patients, they can expand their coronavirus unit for a second time.

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