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National Guard troops arrive at CHI Saint Joseph in London to help

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:48 AM EDT
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LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) - Hundreds of Kentucky National Guard members are being deployed to help Kentucky hospitals.

Dozens of guard troops arrived Monday at hospitals in southern Kentucky.

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At CHI Saint Joseph Health in London, the staff has been very busy with COVID-19-related patients over the past six weeks. We’re told that, as of Monday morning, about 75% of the emergency room patients are either requesting or are somehow related to COVID-19.

Monday afternoon, 14 members of the Kentucky National Guard arrived to help in about five different areas, all non-patient care-related, but help that is needed.

About 300 troopers will be deployed in various hospitals, including several in southern Kentucky.

“You never know what you might be called up to do,” said National Guard member Aaron Barbour. “A lot of times people need help and we go out and help in any capacity that we can, whether it be clearing debris or helping to staff hospitals in non clinical positions.”

The hospital administrator told us that the Guard will be helping with support, food service, security, assistance with the supply chain and housekeeping. The ER director told us that just help with getting supplies is going to be a huge boost to them.

The hospital director told us that they have currently have 126 beds in operation with the COVID-19 census being 60% full. To put this in perspective, before the pandemic, they ER would average 95 visits per day, now it’s 115.

In southern Kentucky, the National Guard will also be at hospitals in Corbin and Somerset. National Guard members we spoke with Monday said they are not sure how long their deployment will last.

Governor Beshear says this may be the largest deployment of the National Guard for a health care crisis in the state’s history.

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