Gov. Beshear Says Kentucky Hospitals On The “Brink Of Collapse” Means More Death

Sep 14, 2021

Credit Alexandra Kanik

Kentucky’s COVID-19 situation continues to worsen and that’s putting a strain on hospitals and medical resources. 

On Monday, Kentucky’s top health official, Dr. Steven Stack, said new cases are higher than ever and that’s leading to a serious problem for hospitals.

“And though you may not be in a hospital right now, our hospitals are at the brink of collapse in many communities,” Stack said.  “It’s causing consequences to people not just with COVID, but also to people without COVID who can’t get some of their procedures, or hospitalizations, taken care of, or have a heart attack or a stroke addressed in a timely manner, because there simply are no places for these patients to get their care.”

If a hospital collapses, Gov. Andy Beshear said that means more people will die. 

“And hospitals on the brink of collapse are also gonna have more burnout, which means more of these healthcare heroes, understandably, are going to walk away,” he said. “Which creates that spiral, which means there are fewer and fewer and fewer people to help, but the answer is death. That’s what happens when a hospital is overrun.”

Stack said there was a small decrease in new cases last week. Both Stack and Gov. Beshear said it’s possible the growth of new cases is slowing. 

More than 2,400 people are hospitalized with COVID. Fewer than 200 ICU beds are available throughout the state. Kids ages 10 to 19 continue to make up the majority of new cases. 

The state’s rate of positivity is 13.7%. 

Gov. Beshear reported that 59% of the state’s population has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. As cases are increasing among children, Beshear said more people ages 12 to 29 need to get the shot.