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Rate Of New COVID-19 Cases May Be Slowing, But Ky Gov. Warns Hospitals Still Struggling With Capacity

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Gov. Andy Beshear YouTube
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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear discussing the state's positivity rate.

Last week, Kentucky passed another milestone since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The commonwealth reported more than 30,000 new cases of the virus — the most ever in a single week.

On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said new infections shouldn’t be increasing but that could soon change.

“So again, the bad news is we had the single largest week in terms of cases ever. That shouldn't be happening when there are vaccines,” Beshear said. And we know the power of masking. If there is a glimmer of hope the rate of increase seems to be slowing.”

Kentucky’s positivity rate is at 13.7%. The state reported 2,356 new cases and five new deaths on Tuesday. More than 2,300 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19.

But the pandemic continues to burden health care systems. Kentucky has faced critical hospital staffing shortages as the pandemic has dragged on.

“But just think about what they have done to expand the numbers of ICU beds,” Beshear said. “They have closed surgery rooms and centers and turned them into ICUs. I believe there's been three separate expansions in St. Claire. Pikeville Medical Center has done this.”

Currently the state has available ICU beds, but Beshear said that could change in any given week depending on spread of the virus.

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