'No One Coming To Our Aid.' Beshear Says Kentucky Must Solve Own Shortages

Nov 23, 2020

As coronavirus infections intensify across the country, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is warning that the commonwealth can't rely on out-of-state help with hospital staffing.

Credit AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

"When our Kentucky providers run out, there's no one coming to our aid," the governor cautioned in the opening remarks of his daily briefing.

Unlike during previous surges that gripped particular regions of the U.S., the current outbreak is so widespread Beshear said it will be up to Kentucky to solve what health experts now fear the most: a shortage of health workers.

"We've already called up five teams from the National Guard that are helping out at long-term care facilities. We'll look at what we have to do to get other Kentucky practitioners in to help," the governor said. "But remember once we hit that need, we're in trouble."

While Kentucky healthcare providers have yet to reach the numbers that have forced facilities in other states to house patients in field hospitals or even converted parking garages, the governor said Louisville health systems have paused elective surgeries and medical centers in Pikeville and Bowling Green are "struggling" to keep up.

Monday, the state reported 2,135 new cases, five additional deaths, and a positive rate at just under nine percent.

KENTUCKY MONDAY NUMBERS:

  • 2,135 new cases (highest Monday) 
  • 5 deaths
  • 8.97% positivity rate
  • 1,573 hospitalized
  • 391 in ICU
  • 203 on ventilator

FAYETTE COUNTY:

  • 636 new cases over the weekend (highest numbers to date)
  • 274 Saturday/0 deaths
  • 362 Sunday/0 deaths