KY Gov. sending more National Guard members to help strained hospitals

FRANKFORT, KY (KBSI) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said more teams from the Kentucky National Guard will arrive over the next week at strained Kentucky hospitals.

He made that announcement on Thursday during his weekly Team Kentucky update. They will assist with nonclinical functions within the hospitals to allow hospital staff to focus on patient care.

More than 300 additional Guard members will support 21 hospitals around the commonwealth. Two hospitals in western Kentucky include Baptist Health Hospital and Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital both in Paducah.

“This shows that every hospital is bursting at the seams, that they desperately need help and that we are a state full of more desperately sick people than we have ever seen,” said Gov. Beshear in a news release to media. “I believe this is the largest deployment of the Guard in this crisis health care situation in our history. Every time we’ve asked, they’ve stepped up and served us so proudly.”

More than 400 soldiers and airmen will help provide logistical and administrative support to 25 hospitals across the commonwealth.

More than 100 Guard members already are assisting at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Hazard, The Medical Center at Bowling Green and Pikeville Medical Center.

The other locations the additional teams will support include:
• T.J. Samson Community Hospital, Glasgow;
• Taylor Regional Hospital, Campbellsville;
• Ohio County Hospital, Hartford;
• Manchester Hospital, Manchester;
• CHI Saint Joseph Health, London;
• Baptist Health Hospital, Corbin;
• Baptist Health Hospital, Elizabethtown;
• Baptist Health Hospital, Lexington;
• Baptist Health Hospital, Louisville;
• Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, Prestonsburg;
• Tugvalley ARH Regional Medical Center, South Williamson;
• Middlesboro ARH Hospital;
• Harlan ARH Hospital;
• UofL Hospital, Louisville;
• TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital, Bowling Green;
• Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mount Vernon;
• Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Somerset;
• Kentucky River Medical Center, Jackson; and
• St. Elizabeth Covington Hospital.

COVID-19 Update

The Governor reported that 60 of 96 Kentucky hospitals currently have critical staffing shortages. He also said there are only 90 available adult intensive care beds throughout the commonwealth, the lowest ever during the pandemic.

“Folks, our hospital situation has never been more dire in my lifetime than it is right now,” said Gov. Beshear.

On Sept. 9, Gov. Beshear reported 2,587,406 Kentuckians have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning 70% of Kentucky adults are vaccinated.

Sept. 8, 2021 – COVID-19 Case Information (most recent data available)

  • Cases: 4,468
  • Deaths: 30
  • Positivity Rate: 14.16%
  • Hospitalizations: 2,424
  • Intensive Care Admittances: 674
  • On Ventilators: 431
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