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2,198 Kentuckians Hospitalized With COVID-19

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Today, Gov. Andy Beshear said a record 2,198 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19 and 56 new COVID-19 deaths were reported in just three days. Gov. Beshear reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases in one week, from Aug. 23 to 29: 29,456.

The Governor thanked Kentuckians who have stepped up to get vaccinated in recent weeks as the delta variant has surged, noting that more than 2.5 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We continue to be hit harder and harder with this delta variant. We’re seeing it all across the United States, now reaching a daily average of more than 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time since the winter peak,” said Gov. Beshear. “This isn’t just people getting COVID; it’s them being sick enough to end up in the hospital.”

In August 2020, 11.8% of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky were among children and teens under 18; in August 2021, 24.5% of cases have been. As of Aug. 27, there have been 18,909 COVID cases this month in those under 18 compared to 2,352 in August 2020. At least 18 Kentucky school districts have already had at least one closure due to COVID-19 this school year.

From March 1 to Aug. 25, 90.6% of COVID-19 cases, 90.8% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 87.1% of COVID-19 deaths in the commonwealth have been among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated Kentuckians.

Health care heroes and COVID-19 survivors urged their fellow Kentuckians to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the people they love.

“We are all overwhelmed at this time. To share our story at Baptist Health Corbin, this morning when we came in, we had a census of 175, all of our ICU beds, our PCU beds, our telemetry beds, our med surge beds are all full. We have no more capacity in those beds. We’ve made the decision to close our surgery department to allow us some extra space should it be needed and utilize that staff to take care of patients as well,” said Sherrie Mays, MSN, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer for Baptist Health Corbin. “The thing I would like to ask is, please get your vaccination. That’s the one thing you can do for our community. The other thing you can do for our community is pray for our patients, and pray for our staff and our physicians that they can be resilient during this pandemic and that we can get through it as quickly as possible.”

“In March 2020, I was one of the first people to contract COVID. Initially I thought it was just the flu, and I was hoping it was just the flu, but things progressed and I ended up comatose on a ventilator for three weeks,” said Dr. Jeffrey Foxx, who practices family medicine at Baptist Health Lexington. “When I got sick, we only had a few masks to protect us. We had limited PPE. We had limited testing. We had no idea how to treat the disease. We had no vaccines. But things have changed since then. We can mitigate the disease. We can protect ourselves. We can protect our family and friends. We can protect our co-workers. Get the vaccine.”

“I was waiting for my turn for the vaccine in January, when in spite of our small circle and lots of care, my two kids, my husband and I tested positive for COVID-19. Within a couple of weeks, I was on a ventilator. I stayed in the hospital during that stay for over 100 days. I was sedated and missed my daughter’s 9th birthday, my son’s 4th birthday and my 17th wedding anniversary. I missed my mom’s birthday. I missed these major milestones,” said Lora Adkins of Pike County, a COVID-19 survivor who spent more than 70 days on a ventilator. “Now the vaccine is readily available and it’s a choice, but to me that choice is simple.”

“Working in the hospital system, you see the effects of COVID,” said Dennis Pitcock, PT, DPT, physical therapist at T.J. Regional Health. “We’ve had many patients that have come through and you can see how devastating the disease can be.”

“I had a rather long and difficult time with COVID. I was in the hospital a little over three-and-a-half months. A month of that time I was on the ventilator. Recovery was difficult, and if I could have avoided that, I definitely would have,” said Bill Kindred, former chief executive officer of T.J. Regional Health. “Getting the vaccine, if it can prevent going through what I did and what I put my family through, is a small price to pay.”

COVID-19 Case Information Update

Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,524,083

New Cases Today: 2,619

Positivity Rate: 13.45% (record during time state has had adequate COVID-19 tests)

Current Hospitalizations: 2,198 (record)

Current Intensive Care Admittances: 615 (record)

Currently on Ventilators: 384 (record)

Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on actions his administration has taken to support hospitals during the COVID-19 delta variant surge that is straining health care systems across the state. Those actions include:

•Deploying the Kentucky National Guard to support COVID-19 response efforts in hospitals;

•Securing three FEMA emergency medical services (EMS) strike teams that arrived Friday to help with patient transports and patient care through Sept. 25;

•Requesting two additional FEMA EMS strike teams to support areas with increased need for patient transport;

•Providing COVID-19 testing assistance to some Kentucky hospitals; and

•Sending nursing students to help staff area hospitals in need of support.

(provided by the Office of Gov. Andy Beshear)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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