FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear said he's now deployed over 500 Kentucky National Guard members to 29 hospitals throughout the state as Kentucky grapples with the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate per capita in the nation.

What You Need To Know

  • More Kentucky National Guard members have been deployed to crowded Kentucky hospitals

  • Gov. Beshear said an additional 94 members were deployed, upping the Guard's presence to 505 across the state

  • As of Thursday, 64 of 96 hospitals are reporting critical staffing shortages
  • Kentucky has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate per 100,000 residents in the nation

Beshear said 505 Guard members have been deployed so far, expanding the Guard’s presence by 94 members and to four more hospitals this week.

“This is the largest deployment of the Kentucky National Guard for a health care crisis in the commonwealth’s history,” Beshear said during Thursday's Team Kentucky briefing. “We continue to hear from our hospitals how much these incredible professionals help.”

Guard members being deployed often assist with nonclinical functions, freeing up more staff to assist patients in need.

As of Thursday, 64 of 96 hospitals are reporting critical staffing shortages, and 130 adult ICU beds are available statewide. Five Kentucky children with COVID-19 are currently on ventilators, according to the latest state data.

To see a map of current Kentucky National Guard, COVID-19 testing and nursing student support to hospitals, click here.

Already this week, 90 acute care hospitals have administered 4,385 monoclonal antibody treatment courses. Kentucky will only receive 4,960 treatments for the entire week.

“We see these being very popular with folks who don’t want to get vaccinated, but the moment they get sick, want to get the monoclonal antibodies,” Beshear said. “I’m just trying to tell you: There’s not going to be enough. Don’t put yourself in the position where you show up hoping to get these and we’ve run out.”

Over 2,667,900 Kentuckians have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning 70% of all eligible Kentuckians (those 12 and older) have received at least one dose.

With Thursday's COVID-19 report, 4,099 new cases and 44 new deaths were confirmed. The state's positivity rate stands at 11.33%, and 2,223 Kentuckians are hospitalized with the virus.


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