“Amazing outreach” from Centre College part of planning for potential virus surge

Published 8:15 pm Saturday, April 11, 2020


What if the coronavirus surges to extraordinary numbers in Danville and Boyle County?

That’s a worry I’ve had but after a recent conversation with Dr. Eric Guerrant, medical director of the emergency department at Ephraim McDowell Medical Center, I felt a whole lot better.

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“We are fortunate to have a hospital the size we do,” Guerrant said. “We have taken a lot of measures by cancelling elective surgeries and procedures. The bed availability is there.

“We have plans for expanding at Harrodsburg where there is capacity for more beds and we could use Fort Logan (in Stanford). Remember 15 or so years ago we had two beds in almost every room. We can do that again.”

Guerrant says plans are already in place to secure space if needed at hotels.

There is also another huge resource — Centre College. Students were sent home several weeks ago and Guerrant says there has been an “amazing outreach” from Centre offering dorm space as needed.

“Centre has been great. They have even said they will feed us if we need it,” Guerrant said. “It has been pretty wonderful how they reached out to offer to help.

“We have been planning and planning. I still feel like we are out in front of the curve.”

That doesn’t mean Guerrant and others in the medical field are not nervous about getting sick or having their families get sick. They just understand they are needed.

“This is our career defining moment,” Guerrant said. “This is what we do. Nurses are put in harm’s way all the time with infectious diseases. This is our chance to make our mark and help others. We are a tight-knit group. We are locked and loaded and ready to go with no fear in our face.

“We don’t have people staying home out of fear. We are ready to do all we can to help everybody get through this.”