Positivity rate has tripled in December for COVID testing in Craighead County, NEA Baptist says

When the final month of 2021 began, NEA Baptist reported a positivity rate of 10.9 percent out of 1,545 tests. But by the end of the month, the rate had jumped to 36.6 percent from 2,802 tests.

The sharp increase in positive cases reflects the introduction of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 to the region, the health system said on Thursday.

These numbers are from NEA Baptist, released on Thursday to media outlets:

December 1-7: Total Tests: 1,545 with a positivity rate of 10.9%.

– Around twice as many tests performed in the clinic setting as we saw in the hospital for patients being admitted.

December 23-29: Total Tests: 2,802 with a positivity rate of 36.6%.

– The vast majority of testing is being performed in the clinic setting. So much so that the company created the Drive-Thru Testing Site to alleviate pressure from their regional Urgent Care locations.

At NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, they’re reporting currently treating 41 COVID patients with 7 being in the ICU, and 3 of those 7 on a ventilator. 10 have been treated and moved out of isolation and another 24 patients are housed in a lower acuity setting throughout the hospital with precautions in place for infection prevention.

What we are seeing from the Omicron variant is though it has proven to be more transmissible, we have not experienced the amount of severe infections we saw when Delta was at its peak. We are seeing breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals with the majority of severe cases involving hospitalization still being widely among unvaccinated patients. Currently 80% of our hospital population is unvaccinated.

Ty Jones | Director | NEA Baptist | Marketing

The hospital asked media to spread the guidance that the Emergency Department is for life-threatening illness and injury only. They report seeing large numbers of individuals seeking a routine COVID test at their Emergency Department.

Individuals should utilize our Drive-Thru Testing Site and our Urgent Care facilities across the region. This will allow our Emergency Department staff to focus on providing life-saving care to those who need it.

Ty Jones | Director | NEA Baptist | Marketing

To see a list of locations and hours of Urgent Cares, go to www.neabaptistclinic.com/urgentcare. Hours are based on how many need tests and how many tests are available that day. NEA Baptist advises to arrive early in the morning.

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