Gov. Beshear: Third-highest week of cases as Ky. hospitals face staffing shortages

Gov. Beshear
Gov. Beshear
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Governor Andy Beshear said the commonwealth passed a milestone over the past couple of days as more than 8,000 Kentuckians have died due to COVID-19.

As of Monday, Beshear confirmed a total of 8,339 deaths in the commonwealth due to coronavirus.

In week to week reports, Beshear said cases this week have increased since Labor Day week, but the numbers did not hit peaks set over the past three weeks.

“I hope that maybe this shows us that cases aren’t going to continue increasing, or certainly not at the rate that they were,” Beshear said.

Beshear said despite the possible plateau, the past week is still the third-highest week ever in the pandemic in terms of newly reported cases.

On Monday, there were 2,075 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Kentucky and 17 additional deaths due to the virus.

“I want to make sure we don’t view this as good news,” Beshear said. “Because a plateau will continue to push our hospitals over capacity. Far too many cases.”

Critical staffing shortages continue to affect area hospitals. On Saturday, Kentucky was up to 77 percent of hospitals reporting staff shortage. Beshear said it has gone down to 63 percent on Monday.

Beshear reminded that there were also a number of children who have been hospitalized due to COVID, with 21 kids in the hospital Monday and seven kids in the ICU.

Positivity rate in the state is now at 12.18 percent as of Monday.

New guidance was also released for K-12 school operations for in-person learning, which Beshear strongly recommended for school districts to help keep children in school:

  • Multiple, layered prevention strategies make safe, in-person instruction possible
  • Universal masking for indoor school settings is essential
  • All persons 12 and older should get vaccinated
  • COVID-19 testing should be available for student and staff
  • Schools and local health departments should collaborate to achieve best outcomes

Beshear also confirmed that 2,652,144 so far have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information on vaccines and to find an appointment in your area, click or tap here.

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