FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – According to the Kentucky Department of Public Health and Governor Andy Beshear, fewer than 100 ICU beds that could be staffed were available in the Bluegrass State as of the state’s latest COVID-19 update.
Beshear says hospitalizations are nearing a record high, and that this is a problem that expands past the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the rising number of COVID-19 ICU admissions means there are fewer beds available for patients experiencing other types of medical trauma such as heart attacks, strokes, or severe injuries.
“Folks, be careful. When this happens, we don’t have room or beds for people hurt in car accidents or who have strokes,” Beshear said. “The danger here is bigger than just COVID, so even if you are still a skeptic that this thing can hurt and/or kill you, please do the right thing so that others harmed in different ways can get the care they need.”
The governor adds that while studies have shown that Omicron appears to be less deadly than some of the previous variants such as Delta, it is more contagious and a larger number of people have caught the Omicron variant.
As of the state’s latest COVID-19 update Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Kentucky Department for Public Health reported 12,827 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths, bringing the totals throughout the pandemic to 1,112,651 cases and 12,817 deaths.
The state is again reporting a positivity rate above 30%, listed at 32.44% as of Wednesday evening with all of the state’s 120 counties in the red on the current incidence rate map.
On Monday night, Beshear announced his son, Will, had tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19 and was generally asymptomatic. He also said his son is fully vaccinated and recently received his booster shot.
“My son is generally asymptomatic, we believe because he is vaccinated and boosted,” said Beshear in a press release Monday night. “In fact, he is shooting basketball right now, by himself. The vaccines and booster truly protected him.”
Beshear also said Monday night that he, First Lady Britainy Beshear and their daughter Lila all tested negative for the virus. Also on Monday, Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner for the KDPH, announced more than 25% of the state’s newly reported cases are among children. Stack and the governor say among those ages 5-11, only 13.3% are fully vaccinated.