A COVID patient at LMH Health died Wednesday, and there was another COVID-related death Aug. 30 that was not previously reported, according to an LMH Health community update.

LMH Health had 16 COVID patients Thursday, two of whom are recovering and out of isolation. The 14 active cases include two who are on ventilators and four in critical care.

Since June 15, around 76 percent of the 139 COVID patients at LMH Health have been unvaccinated. 

The patient stats include all COVID positive cases, regardless of the initial reason for hospitalization. Janette Kirkpatrick, vice president for quality, said tracking all COVID cases, regardless of the reason for hospitalization, eliminates bias and ensures an accurate assessment of the situation.

Jason Kimball, a hospitalist at LMH Health, said numbers would have been higher if not for vaccinations. Vaccinations reduce the likelihood of being hospitalized for COVID by 25 times, he said.

Infectious diseases physician Jennifer Schrimsher believes it is important to focus on the outcomes of patients. While there are some vaccinated patients at LMH Health who have tested positive for COVID-19, hospital stays are significantly shorter.

Vaccinated individuals rarely die from COVID-19, and are hospitalized at a considerably lower rate than individuals who are unvaccinated, she said

There have been a total of 40 COVID-related deaths at LMH Health since the start of the pandemic.

Nearly 70 percent of eligible Douglas County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, according to data from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. About 60 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. 

The mask order for children ages 2-11 was extended until Dec. 22 following a vote by the Douglas County Commission on Wednesday.

Reach reporter Chris Fortune at eudoratimes@gmail.com.

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