Kentucky is reporting a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations as the pandemic worsens in the commonwealth.
Governor Andy Beshear announced Monday 1,442 Kentuckians are hospitalized with the virus. That’s an increase of 309 people since last Monday, and an increase of 59 since Sunday. 128 patients are battling the virus on a ventilator.
Beshear confirmed 1,514 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 139,097. Western Kentucky counties with large increases in case count include Graves (44) and McCracken (27).
Three Kentuckians died as a result of the virus Monday, including a 66-year-old woman from Graves County and a 63-year-old woman from Henderson County.
Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander provided an update on COVID-19 in the commonwealth’s long term care facilities. There are nearly 1,600 active virus cases in nursing homes throughout the state. Friendlander said new policies to limit spread within long term care facilities will include limits on communal activities and holiday visitation. The Kentucky National Guard will deploy strike teams throughout the commonwealth to provide non-clinical support for long term care facilities.
“We shouldn't be sacrificing our seniors because we don’t want to wear a mask,” Beshear said.
Secretary for the Executive Cabinet Michael Brown said the virus continues to rip through Kentucky’s correctional institutions. He said a recent outbreak site is the Lee Adjustment Center in Marion County, where over half of inmates tested have received a positive result. Brown said testing continues at the site and at other state prisons.
“It seems as if each time we get one facility under control, much like the rest of the state, it breaks out someplace else,” Brown said.
Beshear said Kentuckians should expect new restrictions from his office if the rate of infection does not decrease by Wednesday. He said any new executive actions will be “targeted” at the community level and will not resemble the widespread shutdown of the early pandemic.
Find more information on Kentucky’s response to the coronavirus here.