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RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – As the holidays wind down, health officials at Baptist Health Richmond anticipate another surge in COVID-19.

“I think, given the new variant, we expect to see a larger peak,” said Marcie Backus, director of quality patient experience and infection prevention at Baptist Health Richmond.

Backus says last January the hospital treated about 8 to 12 COVID-19 patients a day. It’s now treating 16 patients daily. She expects that number to grow in the coming weeks.

Hospital officials report seeing more patients in the ER test positive for the virus. They’re also seeing more young people get sick.

Unlike many hospitals across the commonwealth, Baptist Health Richmond is fully staffed. However, officials are prepared to make changes if a COVID-19 influx arrives.

“We have leadership in ancillary staff and nurses in professional roles who are ready, educated, and can jump in and help, if necessary,” said Backus.

The hospital has also created more room for COVID-19 patients.

As we head into a new year of the pandemic, Backus is sharing several reminders.

“Remember to wear your mask and continue to impress on our community that vaccination is important,” Backus said. “There is still a large part of our community that is not vaccinated.”

Health officials say if you have any questions about COVID-19 vaccines, ask a medical professional.