Only 6% of ventilators in use at LMH Health; COVID-19 count for Douglas County remains at 38

photo by: Contributed/LMH Health

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Lawrence's hospital, LMH Health, is pictured Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

While Lawrence’s hospital won’t say how many ventilators it has, it is now providing the public with the percentage of its ventilators in use.

On Thursday, LMH Health was using 6% of its ventilators, 20% of its beds and 8% of its critical care (ICU) beds. These percentages represent the ventilators and beds being used for any reason at the hospital, not for reasons specific to COVID-19, according to a news release from the hospital.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Douglas County remains at 38, local health officials announced Thursday, marking no increase from Tuesday’s count.

In Douglas County, there are 23 cases believed to have been contracted through travel, seven from local transmission and seven from contact with someone with a positive case. One case is still under investigation for type of transmission.

Contact with a positive case means the health department has determined the person’s exposure to a known positive case was the source of his or her contracting COVID-19, whereas local transmission means the department’s investigators could not identify the source of the person’s disease and the person had not recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 was present.

The 38 local cases involve two people in their late teens, 16 people in their 20s, 10 people in their 30s, five people in their 40s, two people in their 50s, one person in his or her 60s, one person in his or her 70s and one person who is over the age of 80, according to a news release Thursday afternoon. Of those cases, 21 are men and 17 are women, the health department said.

Wednesday, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health announced that 26 out of the 38 people with cases of COVID-19 have recovered. On Thursday, it altered its recovery number to 25 to reflect that one patient reported a relapse in symptoms.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced that, as of 11 a.m. Thursday, a total of 1,106 Kansas residents had tested positive for COVID-19, including 42 deaths as a result of the disease.

KDHE’s online map noted that 937 Douglas County residents have been tested for the disease so far. The county’s testing rate per 1,000 people was 7.66, the third highest in the state.

The daily update from LMH Health announced that, as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday, there was one patient at Lawrence’s hospital with COVID-19 and one other who was under investigation for the virus.

LMH Health had collected 771 COVID-19 specimens total as of Thursday, and 34 of those specimens had tested positive for the virus. On Wednesday alone, LMH Health collected 22 specimens.

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What to do if you think you may have COVID-19

Patients who have symptoms — difficulty breathing, cough and fever — should stay home, immediately isolate themselves from others and call their health care providers. Patients should never show up unannounced at a medical office or hospital. Instead, they should call ahead to explain their symptoms and give health care workers the ability to minimize the risk to others.

If patients do not have health care providers, they may call the Lawrence Douglas-County health department’s coronavirus line, 785-856-4343.

For updated information on the outbreak, Kansas residents can email or call 866-534-3463 (866-KDHEINF), which is staffed 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

More information can be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s website or the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health website.


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