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FEMA strike teams demobilized in Kentucky

The late-summer COVID-19 surge seems to have subsided in the commonwealth.
Five FEMA EMS strike teams are heading elsewhere after improved data on the spread of COVID-19...
Five FEMA EMS strike teams are heading elsewhere after improved data on the spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky.(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - Five FEMA “strike teams” are heading elsewhere after improved data on the spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky.

The EMS strike teams were demobilized in Kentucky on Sunday nearly two months after arriving to help during the delta-fueled COVID-19 surge.

The strike teams, comprising 25 total ambulances and 50 total staff, spent eight weeks on-site at hospitals in Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green, Somerset and Corbin.

They arrived to assist the Kentucky National Guard as hospitals reported significant staffing shortages and overstuffed emergency departments.

Gov. Andy Beshear says the teams made “a noticeable impact” easing the strain on Kentucky hospitals by driving almost 71,000 miles to transfer almost 2,000 patients.

The 50 team members hailed from 14 states.

“These are people outside Kentucky pitching in to help us in our hour of need,” Beshear said. “Thank you, FEMA. Thank you to those individuals who left their families to come help ours during this period of time.”

The delta-fueled surge that brought the teams to Kentucky is now largely over. Cases of COVID-19 are falling in the commonwealth almost as rapidly as they rose in August. [See graphic below]

“We are almost decreasing in cases at the speed that we increased,” Beshear said. “That is a very good sign. Our weekly case numbers are the lowest they have been in 11 weeks. Our efforts to get more and more Kentuckians vaccinated have made a huge difference.”

Cases of COVID-19 by week in Kentucky
Cases of COVID-19 by week in Kentucky(Kentucky Department of Public Health)

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