FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky has recorded more than 13,000 new COVID-19 cases in just four days. The Governor also reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases in one week, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, with 30,680 cases, topping the previous record-high week reported the week before.
“We continue to see more cases than is safe by any means,” said Gov. Beshear. “The bad news is we had the worst week ever last week. Our hospitals continue to be pushed to the brink. If we have one bad week, we can very quickly run out of ICU beds.”
On Sunday, Gov. Beshear announced the arrival of a National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) team at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead to assist the hospital in the current surge of COVID-19 cases. The Governor has also used the Kentucky National Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Medical Services strike teams and nursing students to help at strained health care facilities across the commonwealth. For more information, read the full release.
Officials at St. Claire Regional Medical Center discussed via video message the help they’ve received during the current surge of COVID-19 thanks to the requests made by the Governor. Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) operate under the NDMS as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“The assistance of the assignment of the Kentucky National Guard, the request from the Governor for the HHS-DMAT team and the additional assistance from the nurses from the Galen College of Nursing students have been a godsend,” said Donald Lloyd II, president and chief executive officer.
“The DMAT team being here means that we’ve got a little bit of relief this time. I can’t stress how important that is. They’re providing relief to an already tight staff who are just exhausted. The DMAT team is able to take patients and that allows our team to rest a little bit while still working,” said Lerae Wilson, DNP and chief nursing officer.
“We have been overwhelmed for a while. Their arrival has helped us recoup, regroup and get better care. We completely are thankful to them and have great gratitude for their arrival,” said Dr. William Melahn, chief medical officer.
“It means so much to have that additional help. We have been burning at all ends, our staff, our entire team has just been working so hard. It’s just a relief and a little bit of light to have this trained group of people to come in to help us relieve some of that pressure from us,” said Courtney Hollingsworth, MSN, RN and associate chief nursing officer.
Mark Wade, principal of Boyle County High School, also shared his story of battling COVID-19 via video message and encouraged all Kentuckians to get vaccinated.
“I never thought I would be hospitalized. I was just 41 years old with no pre-existing conditions. I was pretty healthy. The virus is no joke. It doesn’t discriminate,” said Wade. “The vaccine was not available before I was hospitalized and became ill with COVID, but it is now. I trust that the vaccine will help me. Do it for yourself, do it for your family, get the vaccine. It just makes sense.”
COVID-19 Case Information Update
Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,567,645
- New Cases Today: 2,356
- Positivity Rate: 13.74%
- Current Hospitalizations: 2,353
- Current Intensive Care Admittances: 661
- Currently on Ventilators: 433
New COVID-19 Community Testing Site
The Governor announced a new testing location in Pineville.
- Gravity Diagnostics
7 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT
- Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 8
302 S. Walnut Street, Pineville, KY 40977
Drive-through testing available Tuesday through Saturday, no appointments required
Today, the Governor honored Judge Tommy Wayne Chandler of Providence, a life-long public servant, who worked in numerous roles including: Providence city attorney, Webster County attorney, assistant commonwealth attorney, commonwealth attorney, circuit judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit and served as a member of the Webster County Board of Education for more than 25 years. He passed away at 84 from COVID-19.
“As a circuit judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Judge Chandler distinguished himself as a thoughtful, fair and kind jurist,” said Gov. Beshear. “In retirement, Judge Chandler continued to work on behalf of the commonwealth and our people, including as a member of the state Personnel Board, a post that I and my father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, both named Judge Chandler to serve on. Judge Chandler represented the best of Kentucky. His loss to COVID-19 is a personal tragedy for his family and friends and mine.”