(WEHT) – Governor Beshear and health officials were begging for those who have not been vaccinated to get the shot. They stressed that as the Delta variant surges through Kentucky, they’re seeing more and more young people dying.
“It’s hard to tell someone that’s 40 years old that they’re going to be dead within 24 hours and there’s nothing we can do,” said Traci Sanchez, M.D. from King’s Daughters Medical Center
Governor Beshear shared testimonies from healthcare workers saying the delta variant is taking over hospitals.
“This week we are being hit with a COVID surge like never before since the onset of the pandemic,” said Steve Toadvine, CEO of Harrison Memorial Hospital.
The Governor said there are only 93 open ICU beds left in the entire state. He shared some of the highest numbers of children now admitted with COVID-19. Health officials are saying they are having to double up patients per room, cancel elective surgeries – and they are running out of ventilators.
“Just think about a hospital when you run out of ventilators. It means that you have so many more people than you have ever seen on them,” said Gov. Beshear.
2.6 million Kentuckians have been given at least one dose of the vaccine, bringing the percentage of those who are eligible up to 69%. Beshear said most of the unvaccinated are younger, adding that the number of cases in younger people has risen as the Delta variant spreads.
“It is no coincidence. In fact it is a direct relationship that the least vaccinated age groups are getting COVID the most,” Beshear added.
The Governor announced more than 400 National Guard members have been deployed to Kentucky hospitals trying to free up healthcare workers to care for others. They have also deployed nursing students to help.
Beshear said that 87% of COVID cases since March are in those who are unvaccinated. 85% of deaths are in the unvaccinated as well.
“To those that haven’t gotten vaccinated, we’re only pushing this hard because we care about you. Your families care about you. I care about you. All we want is for you to be safe,” stressed Beshear.
He said there is a national shortage of monoclonal antibodies, an infusion that has helped some people during the pandemic. He predicts they will be administering more infusions than they will be receiving in the near future.