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Kentucky Hospitals Adjust Services To Make Room For COVID-19 Patients

Illustration by Alexandra Kanik

Kentucky’s surge in coronavirus cases has caused some hospitals to reduce other health care services to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 patients. 

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,690 new positive coronavirus cases Tuesday and 1,658 COVID-19 hospitalizations — a sharp increase over the past two weeks.  

Gov. Beshear said hospitals have already adjusted services to handle more COVID-19 patients. 

“We’ve got to solve this problem ourselves by reducing the number of cases,” he said. “There is not help coming in the form of additional health care workers from other states.”

The University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital announced it would reduce its number of operating rooms beginning Monday to make room for coronavirus patients. Beshear said the University of Louisville has stopped certain elective procedures and opened a hospital floor that hasn’t been used in 12 years. 

The state is bracing for an expected rise in new COVID-19 cases after the Thanksgiving holiday. All but four of the commonwealth’s 120 counties are in the “Red Zone” with more than 25 cases per 100,000 people. 

Beshear confirmed 17 new deaths on Tuesday. The governor also announced another death due to a coronavirus outbreak at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, near Lexington, bringing the long term care facility’s death total to 28. 

Jeff Young is managing editor of the Ohio Valley ReSource, a journalism collaboration led by Louisville Public Media.

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