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Kentucky lawmakers to meet for special session to discuss COVID-19 measures


Kentucky lawmakers will be back in Frankfort Tuesday morning -- working to address the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, believed to be caused by the delta variant. Gov. Andy Beshear called the special session over the weekend. It comes as hospitals are already being overwhelmed and health officials are worried the holiday weekend could make the situation worse. "The commonwealth is in a state of emergency," Beshear said in his address over the weekend.Beshear says he has been negotiating with lawmakers ahead of the special session. The governor has fewer powers to address a COVID-19 surge than this time last year.He's calling a special session for the general assembly to shape pandemic policies. The COVID-19 incidence rate is high in almost every county in the commonwealth and health care workers are being pushed to the limit amid record-breaking hospitalizations."In previous surges, the governor -- me -- I was empowered to act. The recent state Supreme Court decision has changed that. Now that burden will fall in large part on the general assembly. They'll have to carry much of that weight," Beshear said,The governor is asking the general assembly to extend the state of emergency, review executive orders, appropriate funding, provide schools flexibility and determine his power to require masks. Five FEMA EMS strike teams are now transporting COVID-19 patients in Kentucky and more than 100 national guard members have also been deployed.And over the weekend, the national disaster medical system team arrived at a hospital in Moorhead to open available beds and help staff stretched thin."If we could just get people vaccinated, we could see the decline in the current level of activity and we could also see the death and destruction that we are seeing among families decline precipitously," Donald Lloyd, president of St. Claire Regional Medical Center, said.The special session starts at 10 a.m. and is expected to last five days.

Kentucky lawmakers will be back in Frankfort Tuesday morning -- working to address the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, believed to be caused by the delta variant.

Gov. Andy Beshear called the special session over the weekend.

It comes as hospitals are already being overwhelmed and health officials are worried the holiday weekend could make the situation worse.

"The commonwealth is in a state of emergency," Beshear said in his address over the weekend.

Beshear says he has been negotiating with lawmakers ahead of the special session. The governor has fewer powers to address a COVID-19 surge than this time last year.

He's calling a special session for the general assembly to shape pandemic policies.

The COVID-19 incidence rate is high in almost every county in the commonwealth and health care workers are being pushed to the limit amid record-breaking hospitalizations.

"In previous surges, the governor -- me -- I was empowered to act. The recent state Supreme Court decision has changed that. Now that burden will fall in large part on the general assembly. They'll have to carry much of that weight," Beshear said,

The governor is asking the general assembly to extend the state of emergency, review executive orders, appropriate funding, provide schools flexibility and determine his power to require masks.

Five FEMA EMS strike teams are now transporting COVID-19 patients in Kentucky and more than 100 national guard members have also been deployed.

And over the weekend, the national disaster medical system team arrived at a hospital in Moorhead to open available beds and help staff stretched thin.

"If we could just get people vaccinated, we could see the decline in the current level of activity and we could also see the death and destruction that we are seeing among families decline precipitously," Donald Lloyd, president of St. Claire Regional Medical Center, said.

The special session starts at 10 a.m. and is expected to last five days.


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