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COVID-19: National Guard to Be Deployed to St. E Covington

St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington will see the arrival of Kentucky National Guard soldiers and/or airmen next week, Governor Andy Beshear said Thursday.

The National Guard is being deployed to 21 additional hospitals around the state to assist with non-clinical support to help ease the burden on hospitals overwhelmed by the surge in COVID-19 patients.

Four hospitals around Kentucky are already receiving help from the Guard.

St. E in Covington is the first in Northern Kentucky.

Each location will seen between ten and thirty guardsmen and women, the governor said.

"The growth is not sustainable," Beshear said of the number of hospitalized COVID patients. The state has seen record numbers of people in intensive care units and on ventilators as the virus tightens its grip, particularly with its delta variant.

"We've got to have everybody wake up," Beshear said, urging non-vaccinated people to take advantage of the widely available and highly effective - and free - COVID-19 vaccines. "There are too many stories of people about to be intubated saying, Can I take the vaccine now? The answer is no."

"Your community hospital can't treat that next one of your neighbors that needs help, without your help," the governor said.

The governor also announced the first winners of the state's Vax & Visit KY incentive to get people vaccinated. Two from Northern Kentucky were announced among the ten statewide winners who will receive gift certificates to enjoy overnight stays, a round of golf, and campground stays at one of Kentucky's state parks. 

The local winners are Casey Apgar, of Erlanger, and Pamela Campbell, of Fort Thomas.

The next drawing is Sept. 20 and winners will be announced Sept. 23. To enter, click here.

This story may be updated.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher