The governor spent much of Monday’s briefing focusing on the strains hospitals are facing as hospital rates, ICU admissions, and patients on ventilators reach record numbers.
As of Monday, 1,893 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons, 529 are in the ICU, and 301 are on ventilators.
Governor Beshear says the situation is so dire in many places, hospitals are calling other facilities to see if there is space to take patients.
We heard from a few facilities including St. Claire in Morehead, who announced they are in a code yellow situation, which means they’re redistributing resources across the entire enterprise to respond to this surge.
The governor announced he has requested FEMA to approve additional healthcare professionals including register nurses, certified assistants, and EMS strike teams that will transport patients from a hospital that is full to a place that can help them.
This comes as rates reach exponential growth.
“We got here so much quicker than anything we saw before in the pandemic, which means that number is only going to increase,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our hospitalizations have been doubling just about every two weeks folks, and that means we are getting close to every single hospital bed across the entire commonwealth that we can staff being full.”
The governor said he believes we are reaching the point where a mask mandate is necessary because of hospital rates. However, because of the Supreme Court ruling, that would have to be voted on by lawmakers.
Governor Beshear reported 2,596 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and a 12.87% positivity rate. That’s the highest it’s ever been since the state was able to accurately track it.
There were also 17 COVID-related deaths reported Monday, bringing the state’s total to 7,558.
Of Kentucky’s 120 counties, 119 are in the red zone for COVID-19 cases. Because of that, the governor released these recommendations for counties that are in the red zone: