Beshear speaks about ‘dire’ state of Ky. hospitals as COVID-19 cases surge


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Gov. Andy Beshear held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the dire state of Kentucky’s hospitals and address who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Dr. Stack said Kentuckians with the following conditions should consider receiving a third vaccine dose:

  • Active or recent treatment for cancer/malignancy;
  • Solid-organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplants;
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection; and
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers and other immunosuppressive medications.

Gov. Beshear said COVID-19 cases in Kentucky children have increased more than 400% in the last month, from 133 July 16 to 548 Aug. 16.

In addition, as of Aug. 16, Kentucky had 17 pediatric admissions for COVID-19, the state’s highest ever total. The previous highest number was 12 admissions in December 2020.

The governor says the nation is reporting record COVID-19 hospitalizations in children.

Alabama has reported it only has two ICU beds still available. Mississippi public health officials confirmed another child has died from COVID-19 complications, the state’s fifth pediatric death since March 2020.

Dr. Stack said a variety of hospitals across Kentucky have already started canceling and postponing non-urgent, but important, surgeries and other procedures that would require admission to the hospital for overnight stays.

He added that larger receiving hospitals in Kentucky are receiving calls from hospitals in Louisiana and Alabama seeking ICU beds to transfer patients to them; and reports from Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana saying there are no beds available in these states.

“Critical access hospitals in Kentucky are beginning to report difficulty getting their patients accepted at larger hospitals in Kentucky,” said Dr. Stack. “In one instance, a hospital called 10 other hospitals and was unable to receive an accepting hospital to take their patient.”

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