Gov. Beshear: More Than 300 Additional Guard Members Will Support Strained Hospitals Across Kentucky

Governor also recognized nursing students helping health care systems amid COVID-19 surge

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2021) – On Thursday during his weekly Team Kentucky update, Gov. Andy Beshear said more teams from the Kentucky National Guard will arrive over the next week at strained Kentucky hospitals. Assisting with nonclinical functions within the hospitals to allow hospital staff to focus on patient care, 310 additional Guard members will support 21 hospitals around the commonwealth.

“This shows that every hospital is bursting at the seams, that they desperately need help and that we are a state full of more desperately sick people than we have ever seen,” said Gov. Beshear. “I believe this is the largest deployment of the Guard in this crisis health care situation in our history. Every time we’ve asked, they’ve stepped up and served us so proudly.”

More than 100 Guard members already are assisting at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Hazard, The Medical Center at Bowling Green and Pikeville Medical Center. The additional teams will support:

  • T.J. Samson Community Hospital, Glasgow;
  • Taylor Regional Hospital, Campbellsville;
  • Ohio County Hospital, Hartford;
  • Manchester Hospital, Manchester;
  • CHI Saint Joseph Health, London;
  • Baptist Health Hospital, Corbin;
  • Baptist Health Hospital, Elizabethtown;
  • Baptist Health Hospital, Lexington;
  • Baptist Health Hospital, Louisville;
  • Baptist Health Hospital, Paducah;
  • Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, Prestonsburg;
  • Tugvalley ARH Regional Medical Center, South Williamson;
  • Middlesboro ARH Hospital;
  • Harlan ARH Hospital;
  • Mercy Health - Lourdes Hospital, Paducah;
  • UofL Hospital, Louisville;
  • TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital, Bowling Green;
  • Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mount Vernon;
  • Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Somerset;
  • Kentucky River Medical Center, Jackson; and
  • St. Elizabeth Covington Hospital.

“In coordination with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, we’ve now mobilized more than 400 soldiers and airmen to help provide logistical and administrative support to 25 hospitals across the commonwealth,” said Brig. Gen. Bryan Howay, director of the joint staff, Kentucky National Guard. “Supporting this critical mission impacts our service members as well since we’re part of the same communities we’re assisting. While our mission is temporary, it serves to highlight the importance of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and most importantly, getting vaccinated.”

Brett Weber, vice president and chief operations officer at ATA College, joined Gov. Beshear to provide an update on 40 nursing students who answered the call to support hospital teams at Kindred Hospital in Louisville, Isaiah House Treatment Center in Willisburg and Signature Healthcare locations across the commonwealth.

“We have been working with a number of hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities in the area to provide support during the pandemic,” said Weber. “Our students have been able to gain valuable knowledge and real-word experience by providing direct patient care at these facilities. Not only are our students helping with the shortage that exists at these facilities by providing direct patient care, but they’re also preparing for long-term careers in the health care field, and there’s a dire need for that right now.”

COVID-19 Update
The Governor reported that 60 of 96 Kentucky hospitals currently have critical staffing shortages. He also said there are only 90 available adult intensive care beds throughout the commonwealth, the lowest ever during the pandemic.

“Folks, our hospital situation has never been more dire in my lifetime than it is right now,” said Gov. Beshear.

Today, Gov. Beshear reported 2,587,406 Kentuckians have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning 70% of Kentucky adults are vaccinated.

Sept. 8 2021, COVID-19 Case Information (Most Recent Data Available)

Cases: 4,468
Deaths: 30
Positivity Rate: 14.16%
Hospitalizations: 2,424
Intensive Care Admittances: 674
On Ventilators: 431

COVID-19 Community Testing Sites
The Governor reminded Kentuckians to take advantage of community testing sites including:

Gravity Diagnostics
Drive-through testing available, no appointments required:

  • Covington
    Open daily: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    302 W. 4th Street, Covington, KY 41011
  • Danville
    Open daily: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    224 Southtown Drive, Danville, KY 40422
  • Pineville
    Open Tuesday-Saturday: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    302 S. Walnut Street, Pineville, KY 40977

First Round of Vax and Visit Kentucky Winners Announced
Today, Gov. Beshear announced the first round of winners from the Vax and Visit Kentucky incentive program, the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet’s program to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by offering in-state travel incentives.

The winners are:

  • Michael James of Flemingsburg,
  • Gladys Hutcherson of Frankfort,
  • Casey Apgar of Erlanger,
  • Alisa Lipsky of Louisville,
  • Nancy Allen of Monticello,
  • Robert Rippingale of Hodgenville,
  • Jason Phillips of Clermont,
  • Debbie Yancey of Monticello,
  • Mary McCloud-Jones of Louisville, and
  • Pamela Campbell of Fort Thomas.

The next drawing will take place Sept. 20, with winners announced Sept. 21. For more information and to enter, click here

Louisville Hotel Groundbreaking Signals Continued Economic Momentum
Earlier this week, Gov. Beshear joined local officials, business leaders and developers to break ground on a 122-room avant-garde hotel that is expected to create more than 40 quality jobs in Louisville’s burgeoning Nulu neighborhood. For more information, read the full release.