FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear reported Monday that last month was the worst month in terms of cases since the pandemic began.
"August was the most cases that we have ever had in the pandemic at 104,000 cases," Beshear said during his weekly COVID-19 briefing.
The governor said 8,750 COVID-19 cases and 88 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the state since Friday.
There were 2,075 new cases reported Monday, as well as 17 new deaths. The positivity rate is 12.18%, according to the governor.
Beshear cautioned that while those numbers are dropping slightly, it is too early to read into them.
"We cannot sustain a plateau at this level with the number of people it would put in the hospital," he said. "It's simply too many cases."
As of Monday, 2,254 people were in Kentucky hospitals with COVID-19. 654 of them are in the ICU and 452 people are on ventilators.
Governor Beshear shared data Monday that showed from March 1 to September 15, 87.1% of COVID-19 cases, 92.1% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 84.6% of COVID-19 deaths have been among people who are partially vaccinated or are unvaccinated.
While healthcare workers continue to fight the pandemic, hospitals are also trying to navigate chronic staff shortages.
As of Saturday, 77% of hospitals in the state reported critical staff shortages, according to the governor.
Sherrie Mays, MSN, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Corbin, touched on the emotional and psychological toll on healthcare workers in a pre-recorded video message played during the governor's briefing.
"This is like a war zone to us," Mays said. "We have staff members who have experienced PTSD just as a soldier would in the time of war."