UK Healthcare lacking in protective gear needed for coronavirus care, media reports show


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Kernel News Staff

Citing an “exceedingly low” supply of protective gear, UK Healthcare officials asked staff to be “frugal” with the gear needed for healthcare employees to care for patients with coronavirus and other infectious diseases, an internal email reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader showed.

“As a result of both the flu and COVID-19, supplies of personal protective equipment are exceedingly low, and many items are on back order,” UK Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Dr. Mark Newman said in the email.

UK Chandler Hospital is caring for Kentucky’s first coronavirus patient, UK spokesperson Jay Blanton said in a statement on Friday.

During a Saturday press conference, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed that Kentucky’s COVID-19 patient, a woman from Harrison County, was moved from Harrison Memorial Hospital in Cynthiana to UK Chandler Hospital in Lexington, where they are currently receiving treatment in isolation and is in serious but improving condition.

In a statement to the Herald-Leader, Blanton said that the hospital is limiting the amount of staff who can enter isolation rooms and is being more selective about who receives the equipment.

“In addition, we will begin the process of requesting these supplies as necessary from the city and state emergency management departments,” Blanton told the paper.