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Health officials seek state funds for COVID-19 care site

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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management are requesting funds from the state to set up an alternative care site for COVID-19 patients.

Katie Towns, acting director of the Health Department, said at a news conference yesterday the increase in cases would cause beds to outpace capacity at area hospitals "in the coming days."

"With that need in mind, we need help," she said at the news conference, which was livestreamed by KY3.

Asked about the cost of an alternative care site, Towns said the local agencies do not yet know.

A location for the alternative care site is being determined, according to a news release. In addition to the inpatient facility, money from the state would provide funding for staffing of additional beds, increase capacity for antibody treatment, expand mobile testing staff and issue an emergency declaration to fund ambulance support for transfers, among other measures.

As of yesterday, there were 231 patients being treated in Greene County hospitals with COVID-19, according to the release. Of those, 104 are in critical care and 61 are on ventilators.

The county is averaging 220 new cases per day, according to the Health Department's COVID-19 dashboard, as the local vaccination rate continues to be low. The dashboard shows 40% of the local eligible population is fully vaccinated.

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