On Tuesday, Kentucky reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases since January. Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,500 new cases and seven new deaths. Beshear warned that hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients.

“We expect to have the most Kentuckians hospitalized due to COVID in two weeks than we’ve had at any time during this pandemic,” Beshear said.

He also signed an executive order mandating masking in public and private schools in the Commonwealth.

Beshear said 94% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who aren’t vaccinated. More children are also being hospitalized as the Delta variant spreads. Over the past week 192 children have been hospitalized — a 45 % increase compared to a week ago.

“Certainly, we won’t be afraid, if necessary, to institute a statewide mask mandate for those indoors outside of the home,” Beshear said. “Again, we know what works. I’m committed to no shutdowns. I’m committed to not having to roll back capacity.”

The state’s rate of positivity is 11%. One hospital in the state is at capacity. ICU capacity in south central Kentucky is at 86%. More than half of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Corinne Boyer covers health issues for the ReSource from partner station WEKU in Richmond, KY.