FRANKFORT – Last week saw the third-highest number of new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky since the start of the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear said during a press briefing at the State Capitol on Monday.
As part of that, he pointed out that during the period Saturday through Monday, there were 88 new COVID-related deaths, which brings the total to 8,339 Kentuckians lost during the pandemic.
The number of new cases during that three-day period was 8,571, raising the number of cases to 658,231, since the first one was reported in March 2020. Keep in mind that some of the labs do not report on the weekends, so the numbers over the next couple of days could be quite a bit higher.
The positivity rate on Monday was 12.18%, which is down from Friday’s 12.88%.
The daily hospital census released on Monday showed 2,254 Kentuckians were hospitalized, which was 28 more than Friday. Of them, 654 were in hospital intensive care units, up three from Friday, while 452 were on a ventilator. That was down from the 463 on Friday, which was the highest number during the pandemic.
“While we hope this a trend and/or a plateau, we cannot sustain a plateau at this level, with the number of people who are in the hospital. It’s simply too many cases,” he said. “On any given day, we’ve only got between 90 and 120 total open adult ICU beds in the state. And that’s with many outpatient and elective procedures canceled to allow more space in the hospital to be converted to ICU units. This cannot become business as usual.”
He also noted that when you look at the date of a test that confirmed someone had the virus, August had the most cases during the entire pandemic, with over 104,000 cases. However, there was another piece of bad news, according to the Governor.
“Saturday was our worst day thus far, for the number of hospitals reporting critical staffing shortages. We were up to 77% of all of our hospitals, with 74 of 96 reporting it. As of Monday, we are down a little, with 63 reporting it, but that is still over 2/3 of our hospitals reporting that shortage.”
He also said Kentucky administered more than 5,000 monoclonal antibody treatment courses last week, but the state will only receive 4,960 courses this week due to a national shortage. They will be allocated to 79 sites around Kentucky based on backorder requests, current inventory and previous week utilization.
His next update is expected to be on Thursday.