FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear has a stern message about the COVID-19 trends.
Beshear says we have moved to uncharted territory. He says hospitalizations have increased every day for the last 42 days. Beshear added this is more concerning because one-third of hospitals in the state are reporting critical staffing shortages.
"We've been fighting this virus for more than 18 months," Beshear says. "We've never been where we are today."
Beshear adds that we are in a critical situation.
"We're never in a position where doctors worry they'd need to choose between choosing a patient who can't breathe because of COVID or treat a patient who is bleeding out because of a car accident," he says. "But that's the strain our hospitals are under."
It is such a strain on some areas that the National Guard is being called upon to help starting next week.
"If you're in a car accident today, in most regions of the state, it's going to be a lot harder to get the care that you need," Beshear says.
We have reported on how crowded it has become at emergency rooms. One of the issues is people going to the emergency room when they do not necessarily need to.
"Sometimes their kids are going to play in a baseball tournament the next weekend and they need a COVID test for that," Beshear says. "The emergency room is not the place to go for a COVID test. Right? If you're not sick, don't go there. The reality is, people are."
In partnership with UK and Wild Health, there are new community testing sites. The sites are located at Baptist Health Corbin, Pikeville Medical Center and St. Claire Healthcare in Morehead, all beginning on Friday.
As for the ongoing fight to avoid misinformation, Beshear says one of the best ways to learn about the severity is to simply listen to those who have dealt with it first-hand.
"If you're spreading misinformation that kills people, I think the very least you can do is talk to some of the family members that have died because of it," Beshear says. "Look them in the eye and tell them COVID's not real."