System reports higher percentage of vaccinated COVID patients than before

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn (WJHL) — The number of COVID-19 inpatients, COVID ICU patients and on ventilators declined slightly Wednesday from the day before, the hospital system reported. The only increase came in the number of pediatric patients, which increased by one to eight.

In its weekly breakdown of vaccinated versus unvaccinated patient data, the system reported its highest percentage yet of vaccinated inpatients at 14% — 49 out of a total of 349 patients. That would include, however, “incidental” COVID cases in which a person who is hospitalized for some other condition or a surgery ends up testing positive for COVID.

Those cases are counted as COVID hospitalizations even if symptoms are mild or non-existent, and those patients are kept in isolated units for the safety of other patients.

In a possible sign of the Omicron variant’s milder symptoms, Ballad reported 46 discharges along with 42 COVID admissions. Both are on the high side and align with Chief Physician Executive Dr. Clay Runnels’ comments to News Channel 11 in early January that the system expected shorter lengths of stay and lower levels of oxygen requirements with Omicron patients.

The percentage of vaccinated patients who are on ventilators was its lowest in a month. Just one vaccinated patient was on a ventilator compared to 50 unvaccinated patients, while those totals for vaccinated patients had been between two and three the previous three weeks.

Three vaccinated patients were in intensive care, while 67 ICU patients were unvaccinated.

The following is a breakdown of COVID-19 data provided by Ballad Health on Jan. 19:

  • Total COVID-19 hospitalizations: 349 (-4)
  • Total number of COVID-19 PUIs (patient under investigation): 9 (+4)
  • Total COVID-19 admissions: 42 (+18)
  • Total COVID-19 discharges: 46 (+20)
  • COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit: 70 (-5)
  • COVID-19 patients on a ventilator: 51 (-3)
  • Pediatric patients in Niswonger Children’s Hospital: 8 (+1)
  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 47.7%