Covid-19 update: Hospital executives worry about having enough staff, say others should stay home to avoid asymptomatic spread

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As news develops in Kentucky about the coronavirus and its covid-19 disease, this item will be updated. Official state guidance is at

  • Hospital systems say their main worry is that the coronavirus will keep their employees off the front lines as the surge of patients increases. “Our biggest concern right now … is keeping staff healthy and keeping them in the game,” Dr. Jody Prather, chief strategy and marketing officer for Baptist Health, said on Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s daily chat. “We can always find the space and locations but we only have a certain number of health-care professionals.”
  • Dr. Steven Hester, chief medical officer of Norton Healthcare, said in the chat, “The biggest thing I think you can do for the caregivers is follow the recommendations of state and local governments.” He said a big challenge with the virus is “a lot of asymptomatic spread” by people who have the virus but don’t know it because they have no symptoms. At least a fourth of infected people are asymptomatic.
  • Noting data showing that the virus can last on a surface for six to seven days and in the air for three hours, Hester said, “We’ve got to get folks compliant with staying at home . . . If everyone follows self-isolation it’s our greatest chance.”
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