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‘We’re angry that it’s back, we’re sad, we’re scared, we’re tired,’: Athens-Limestone Hospital nurse talks COVID

“Until we get enough people vaccinated to protect us all from this, we’re just gonna continue to see this revamp it’s ugly face over and over and over again,”
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 7:16 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - In Limestone County, healthcare workers are getting worried. The county reported more than 500 new cases since the beginning of August.

Athens-Limestone Hospital nurse Donna Abernathy says COVID has been the worst thing she has experienced in her almost 40 years on the job. She says just when things started to get better, case numbers started increasing again, and so did the number of patients in the hospital.

“Then we’re like oh my God, it’s back. And we’re very skeptical but we’re, in the back of our minds, we’re worried that this is back with a vengeance,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy says hospital workers are fearful and dealing with many emotions.

“We’re angry. We’re angry that it’s back. We’re sad, we’re scared, we’re tired,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy says they lost a lot of nurses in 2020 and she is afraid there will be a point when there aren’t enough workers to care for the patients properly.

“My concern for us here being at our small facility, you know when we’re down one or two nurses that’s crippling almost to a small facility,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy says more than 90% of patients hospitalized at Athens-Limestone with COVID are not vaccinated.

“I don’t think people really, I don’t think they have a good handle on it yet I really don’t think we have a handle on how to eradicate it, but I do really feel like that the vaccine is one of the ways,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy says the vaccines are working, and she sees that firsthand every day.

“Until we get enough people vaccinated to protect us all from this, I mean, we’re just gonna continue to see this revamp its ugly face over and over and over again,” said Abernathy.

The visitation policies at Athens-Limestone Hospital have tightened up again as well. They’re allowing only one visitor per day for both COVID and non-COVID patients with designated hours guests can come in.

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