Gov. Beshear concerned about ‘alarming’ rise of Ky. hospital capacity levels

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 9:12 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear is working to discredit misinformation that he says is leading to less people getting vaccinated. He says he’s also very concerned about Kentucky hospitals reaching critical capacity levels—the highest we’ve seen during the pandemic.

“We’re at alarming, and we’re pretty close to critical,” Gov. Beshear told WKYT’s Chad Hedrick in a one-on-one interview Monday.

It’s a stern message from the governor as he pushes for more Kentuckians to get the COVID-19 vaccine while hospital rates reach the highest they’ve ever been.

“By the end of this week, we are looking to have more people in the hospital for COVID than we have had at any point during the pandemic,” Gov. Beshear said.

Beshear says he believes misinformation about the vaccine has kept Kentucky from reaching levels that keep the virus at bay.

“Misinformation is killing people. It is preventing them from making what should be an easy decision to get a safe and effective vaccine,” Gov. Beshear said.

The governor expressed concerns of so many hospitals reaching capacity. St. Claire said Monday they are expanding their COVID unit. Beshear says a hospital in Hopkinsville is seeing admissions up 500% in just two weeks.

“There’s hardly a person that before they are being intubated, that means going on a ventilator, not sure if they’re going to make it, that doesn’t beg to get the vaccine then and there, but by then it’s too late,” Gov. Beshear said.

There is a slight silver lining— after falling off for months, vaccine rates are slowly ticking up.

“It’s really the delta variant and how frightening it is, and Chad, it is frightening,” Gov. Beshear said. “Right now, we are seeing cases increase and a level that we have never seen before. We are seeing hospitalizations double every two weeks.

The numbers are raising red flags, but the governor hopes it leads to more people raising their sleeves for the shot.

The governor has previously said that hospital rates would be a factor in considering new restrictions and mandates. He told WKYT we don’t need shutdowns or capacity restrictions and he is not going to mandate those. He says we have the tools needed to stop the virus with shots and masks when necessary.

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