State Watch

Record number of COVID-19 patients in Kentucky hospitals, governor says

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gives a brief press conference during a COVID-19 vaccination event
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The governor of Kentucky announced on Monday that the state is seeing a record number of coronavirus patients in hospitals.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said in a press release there are 1,893 Kentuckians currently admitted to the hospital for COVID-19, with 529 in intensive care units and 301 on ventilators.

“Our hospitalizations have been doubling just about every two weeks,” Beshear said at a news conference Monday, The Associated Press reported. “And folks, that means we are getting really close to every single bed across the entire commonwealth that we can staff being full.”

The governor is submitting a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, extending the state’s National Guard’s mission to support hospitals and launching a vaccine lottery to encourage residents to get their shots.

“In Kentucky, this means we’ll have our Kentucky Guardsmen continuing to help combat the surge we’re seeing due to the delta variant,” Beshear said in the press release. “Our Kentucky Guardsmen have been on mission since March 2020 to help our commonwealth combat COVID-19, and we’re appreciative of their continued support.”

There are currently almost 2,600 new COVID-19 cases in the state with a positivity rate of 12.87 percent.

The state has 47 percent of its population fully vaccinated, though the governor’s emergency powers to deal with the coronavirus were recently limited by the state’s Supreme Court.

“Up to now, I’ve carried the football” on making “tough, unpopular decisions,” Beshear said, indicating it will be up to the Republican-led state legislature to implement policies to help the state out of this wave of cases, according to the AP.

Beshear said he could call the legislature into a special session to address the rise in cases, which state Senate President Robert Stivers (R) said lawmakers are ready for.

“We have been formulating for quite some time things that we think would be effective,” Stivers said. “And if the governor decides to call us into special session, we’ll be prepared to roll those things out. Hopefully we’ll do it in collaboration with the governor’s office.”

Tags Andy Beshear Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 Delta variant Kentucky robert stivers

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