National Guard to be sent to Ohio Co. Healthcare hospital

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:36 AM CDT
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear held another Team Kentucky update Thursday morning where he mentioned the National Guard being sent to Ohio Co. Healthcare.

Gov. Beshear reminded people during the briefing to remember COVID is dangerous and hospitals are at a very critical point. Many hospitals are reporting an overflow of COVID patients, staff shortages and less bed space.

“Our hospital situation has never been more dire in my lifetime than it is right now,” says Beshear. “If you get COVID and you need to be hospitalized, there has never been a greater likelihood that there’s not a bed for you. At the same time it means if you’re in a car accident today and need emergency treatment that that emergency room has never been more full than it is right now.”

He showed a graph of the ICU census for Ky. hospitals as a visual aid:

ICU census for Ky. Hospitals
ICU census for Ky. Hospitals(Gov. Beshear)

Beshear showed steps they are using to help hospitals during COVID. One step was sending the National Guard to hospitals, including Ohio County Healthcare in Hartford, to help hospital staff. Those soldiers will assist with nonclinical functions in the hospital.

“The National Guard for us will be helping to take lab specimens back and forth, answer phones and help register patients,” Athena Minor, the chief nursing and clinical officer at Ohio County Healthcare said. “They’ll help supplement the needs of our staff.”

“I believe this is the largest deployment of the Guard in this crisis health care situation in our history. Every time we’ve asked, they’ve stepped up and served us so proudly,” says Beshear.

General Ryan Howay of the National Guard says starting Monday, 310 additional soldiers will go to 21 hospitals. State leaders say they are doing this in hopes that hospital staff can focus more on patient care during the surge.

Ky. National Guard Support
Ky. National Guard Support(Gov. Beshear)

The other steps for helping hospitals were as follows:

1. Deployed the Kentucky National Guard to support COVID-19 response efforts in hospitals.

2. Three FEMA EMS strike teams arrived to help with patient transports and patient care through Sep. 25.

3. Two additional FEMA EMS strike teams requested to support areas with increased need for patient transport.

4. Providing COVID-19 testing assistance to some Ky. hospitals.

5. Sending nursing students to help staff area hospitals in need of support.

Beshear says there are three new COVID testing sites located in Covington, Danville and Pineville.

Beshear says although situations like Covid are taking place, there has been some good news like the upcoming hotel in Louisville’s Nulu neighborhood. Thanks to local officials, a hotel has begun to be built and they are hoping it will create at least 40 new jobs. The hotel is set to open in 2023 and will include an outdoor art gallery, a rooftop restaurant and bar.

Local officials beginning new Ky. Hotel
Local officials beginning new Ky. Hotel(Gov. Beshear)

“We have a chance to have one of the best economic years in our history, even in the midst of the pandemic. We have an economy on fire,” says Beshear.

The Muhlenberg County Health Department reported 37 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death on Thursday.

Out of these 37 new cases, health officials say 27 patients were unvaccinated, one was partially vaccinated and five were fully vaccinated. The other four cases were too young to be eligible for the vaccine.

This brings the countywide number to 4,571 total cases and 79 deaths.

Muhlenberg County now has 363 active cases.

Kentucky residents can visit to find a vaccine location.

Here are the all-time totals of confirmed positive cases and deaths in our area of Kentucky:

  • Daviess Co. - 13,997 cases, 213 deaths, 51.53% vaccinated
  • Muhlenberg Co. - 4,571 cases, 79 deaths
  • Hopkins Co. - 5,929 cases, 162 deaths
  • Ohio Co. - 3,519 cases, 61 deaths, 35.69% vaccinated
  • Henderson Co. - 6,678 cases, 90 deaths, 39.69% vaccinated
  • Webster Co. - 2,022 cases, 28 deaths, 39.69% vaccinated
  • McLean Co. - 1,177 cases, 32 deaths, 43.08% vaccinated
  • Union Co. - 2,100 cases, 20 deaths, 32.70% vaccinated
  • Hancock Co. - 1,113 cases, 17 deaths, 49.91% vaccinated

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