LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington Hospitals are asking for people to take precautions as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Fayette County. Over the last week, the Health Department is reporting over 1,700 new COVID-19 cases from Dec. 30, 2021-January 3rd, 2022. 

What You Need To Know

  • Lexington Hospitals are seeing an increase in patients from COVID-19 over the last few days

  • Over the last week Fayette County had over 1,700 new COVID-19 cases

  • Doctors are concerned about the low vaccination rates in children in Fayette County

  • Doctors are asking for people to use the at home test or free testing clinics before going to the emergency room for testing


David Dougherty, an infectious disease doctor at Baptist Health Lexington says hospitals across the country are starting to feel overwhelmed again.

“At Baptist Health Lexington we are seeing an increase in the number of hospitalizations over the last couple of weeks. We got down at one point a couple of weeks ago to about 50 Some inpatients with active COVID-19. We're back up into the mid 80s,” Dougherty said. 

Dougherty is asking for those who have little to mild symptoms to stay away from the emergency room, using the free testing sites to rule out COVID before seeking care at hospitals like the Emergency room. 

“Last night's about 50 positive tests in the ER alone. You know, testing is an issue in the community test availability. And I know the lines for PCR testing are long. A lot of them are long and the home tests are hard to come by at times, hopefully that becomes less of an issue,” Dougherty said. 

Doctors like Lindsay Ragsdale at the Kentucky Children's Hospital are also concerned for the children in the Commonwealth.

Last Sept. the Children’s Hospital was at its peak with 16 patients hospitalized, and says doctors have started seeing an increase in cases again over the last week. 

“We would like to keep them in school but you can imagine all the kids together sharing germs. We would like the use of masks for children even as much as we hate to encumber kids and their studies but really masking handwashing and vaccines for kids are the way that we can keep them out of the hospital,” Ragsdale said. 

Ragsdale says their main concern is the low vaccination rates within children. As of Monday, officials have reported in Fayette County that 33% of children ages 5 through 11 have received their first dose, and 69% of children ages 12-15. 

”We vaccinate kids and require vaccinations for all sorts of things that are preventable. We would like to do the same for COVID-19 This is a way that we can keep school systems in person,” Ragsdale said.

Ragsdale and Dougherty say most of their serve cases are unvaccinated, and hope people will consider getting their vaccination to slow down the spread in their community. 

Along with climbing numbers in Baptist Health and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. UK Healthcare has reported as of Tuesday, Jan. 4,  98 inpatients, with 34 people in ICU, a vast majority of those unvaccinated.