FRANKFORT, Ky. — More teams from the Kentucky National Guard are spreading through the commonwealth over the next week to support strained hospitals, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday during a weekly Team Kentucky update.

What You Need To Know

  • Over 300 additional National Guard members are heading to Kentucky hospitals amid the surge of COVID-19 in Kentucky

  • Gov. Beshear said the Guard members will help with nonclinical functions to allow hospital staff to focus on patient care

  • 310 additional Guard members are heading to 21 hospitals beginning Sept. 13

  • As of Thursday, Beshear said Kentucky only has 90 open ICU beds, the lowest ever during the pandemic

Assisting with nonclinical functions to allow hospital staff to focus on patient care, 310 additional Guard members will support 21 hospitals around the commonwealth, beginning Sept. 13.

“This shows that every hospital is bursting at the seams, that they desperately need help and that we are a state full of more desperately sick people than we have ever seen,” Beshear said Thursday. “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.”

More than 100 Guard members already are assisting at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Hazard, The Medical Center at Bowling Green and Pikeville Medical Center. The additional teams will support:

  • Glasgow's T.J. Samson Community Hospital
  • Campbellsville's Taylor Regional Hospital
  • Hartford's Ohio County Hospital
  • Manchester's Manchester Hospital
  • London's CHI Saint Joseph Health
  • Corbin's Baptist Health Hospital
  • Elizabethtown's Baptist Health Hospital
  • Lexington's Baptist Health Hospital
  • Louisville's Baptist Health Hospital
  • Paducah's Baptist Health Hospital
  • Prestonsburg's Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center
  • South Williamson's Tugvalley ARH Regional Medical Center
  • Middlesboro ARH Hospital
  • Harlan ARH Hospital
  • Paducah's Mercy Health - Lourdes Hospital
  • Louisville's UofL Hospital
  • Bowling Green's TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital
  • Mount Vernon's Rockcastle Regional Hospital
  • Somerset's Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital
  • Jackson's Kentucky River Medical Center
  • St. Elizabeth Covington Hospital

“In coordination with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, we’ve now mobilized more than 400 soldiers and airmen to help provide logistical and administrative support to 25 hospitals across the commonwealth,” said Brig. Gen. Bryan Howay, director of the joint staff, Kentucky National Guard. “Supporting this critical mission impacts our service members as well since we’re part of the same communities we’re assisting. While our mission is temporary, it serves to highlight the importance of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and most importantly, getting vaccinated.”

Brett Weber, vice president and chief operations officer at ATA College, provided an update on dozens of nursing students who answered the call to support hospital teams at Kindred Hospital in Louisville, Isaiah House Treatment Center in Willisburg and Signature Healthcare locations across the Commonwealth.

“We have been working with a number of hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities in the area to provide support during the pandemic,” Weber said. “Our students have been able to gain valuable knowledge and real-word experience by providing direct patient care at these facilities. Not only are our students helping with the shortage that exists at these facilities by providing direct patient care, but they’re also preparing for long-term careers in the health care field, and there’s a dire need for that right now.”

Beshear reported that 60 of 96 Kentucky hospitals currently have critical staffing shortages. He also said as of Thursday, there are only 90 available adult ICU beds throughout the commonwealth, the lowest ever during the pandemic.