Frontline COVID-19 Medical Experts On Holiday Gatherings: "Don't Do It"
Medical staff at hospitals here in Lexington are pleading with you to celebrate Thanksgiving differently this year. Dr. Mark Dougherty with Baptist Health Lexington and Colleen Swartz, the Vice President of Hospital Operations at UK Healthcare aren’t just talking the talk when it comes to following Thanksgiving guidelines. Dougherty said, “I don’t want to be the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving but I’m not celebrating Thanksgiving this year.” Swartz added “My advice would be don’t do it! It’s not worth the risk.” She said while some people may catch the virus and have few to no symptoms, others in your family could not fare as well. They have seen patients take months to recover and some succumb to the virus.
Here in Kentucky, you are asked not to gather in groups larger than eight at your home and then, it should only be with a maximum of two households who are immediate family members. The CDC says you shouldn’t gather at all except with the people you live with. Infectious Disease expert Dr. Dan Rodrigue with CHI Saint Joseph Health says “Don’t get bullied into getting sick. There is some of that that goes on where you’re just embarrassed and you don’t want to get bullied and so you don’t wear a mask and we know personally and we’ve taken care of people who have gotten sick just because of that.”
And these health officials say it’s not just about keeping you and your family safe. As cases surge, more and more doctors and nurses are being affected, causing staffing shortages across the country. Tuesday morning UK Healthcare announced they would be closing 5 of its 32 ORs at Chandler Hospital beginning Monday to decrease admissions and increase capacity for COVID patients.