Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center announced its largest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, as cases continue to surge across the region.

OHTLMC reported 18 hospitalized COVID-19 patients — the hospital’s highest total since the pandemic began. Six of the cases are in critical care, leaving no critical care beds for other patients.

Hospital officials say improving the region’s vaccination rates is vitally important to managing the most recent surge. Of the 18 current hospitalizations, 17 are unvaccinated individuals.

“Our team is working diligently to meet this challenge and help the community overcome the pandemic, but it will take all of us working together to make the difference,” said OHTLMC Chief Operating Officer Ashley Herrington. “Vaccination continues to be one of the most effective ways to mute the effects of this virus, and so we encourage everyone to take this important step as quickly as possible.”

Numbers at Twin Lakes have risen rapidly since the summer months, when there were zero cases in the hospital on most days. The hospital reported two cases on July 29, six on Aug. 16, and 10 on Aug. 23.

“This is a concerning trend, because the peak months of fall and winter are still ahead of us,” Herrington said. “It is a very difficult challenge for us to provide the resources and staffing to treat this many cases.”

To help protect the staff and community, OHTLMC continues to enforce a tight visitation policy that restricts visitors to one per patient throughout the length of their stay, Herrington said. Masks and screenings are also required for anyone who visits an OHTLMC facility.

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