© 2022 WEKU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
The Commonwealth

Gov. Beshear will mobilize Kentucky National Guard to assist hospitals as omicron spreads

011022 Beshear COVID briefing.png
Gov. Andy Beshear YouTube
Gov. Andy Beshear YouTube
Gov. Andy Beshear discusses rising COVID-19 cases during a news conference.

Beshear announced on Monday that Kentucky’s rate of positivity now stands at a little more than 26%. It’s another COVID-19 record for the commonwealth along with the number of cases reported last week when the state recorded more than 52,000 cases of the virus. An increase of more than 20,000 from the previous week.

“Omicron is significantly more contagious than even the Delta variant. And if it spreads at the rate we're seeing it is certainly going to fill up our hospitals,” Beshear said.

Once again, Beshear is deploying the National Guard to assist hospitals as beds fill up. Dr. Steven Stack, the state’s top public health official, said hospital worker burnout and sick staff have resulted in fewer workers in turn affecting hospital services.

“ER wait times can be very long, and many rural hospitals are reporting they are unable to find hospitals to accept ICU level transfers, with the result that very sick people can remain stuck in small rural hospitals for extended periods of time,” he said.

Beshear also reported that a COVID-19 outbreak in several prisons is far less widespread than first thought.

A little more than 130 ICU beds remain open in Kentucky.

If you appreciate access to this important content during this global pandemic, please help us continue to provide public service journalism and information to Central and Eastern Kentucky communities.