Ballad Health will not decide who receives care based on vaccination status, COO says

Local Coronavirus Coverage

Photo: WJHL

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Officials with Ballad Health said Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccination status would not be a factor in determining which patients receive care as part of the health system’s crisis plan.

Chief Operating Officer Eric Deaton said in a media briefing that other factors decide which patients would receive care.

You can watch News Channel 11’s full stream of the briefing below:

“We don’t determine care on vaccination status,” Deaton said. “We take care of people based on the acuity of their illness.”

Deaton said Wednesday a physician would be the best person to explain the level of determination of care; however, he assured no one would be denied care if they had not been vaccinated.

“We do not reject care to anyone based on their ability to- if they have the vaccine or not,” Deaton said. “Again, it’s based on the acuity of their illness when they enter the ER, their triage, and we care for people that way. The criteria is pretty detailed, there’s a lot of information around that.”

Ballad Health has forecasted that within a week, the Tri-Cities region will exceed last winter’s COVID-19 hospitalizations.

As of Thursday, 340 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized across the Ballad health system, and 11 children were hospitalized at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

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