FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s governor on Thursday pointed to signs that the state’s prolonged surge of COVID-19 cases may be leveling off, but he warned that over-stressed hospitals can’t sustain the current pace of ill patients.

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In his latest plea for Kentuckians to take preventive steps to combat the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear said the more people who get vaccinated and wear masks when indoors in public, the “faster we can get this thing on the way down.”

“We are hoping that, in the very least, we are plateauing in terms of new cases,” the governor said. “Certainly our hope is that we will start to see a decrease.”

But he warned: “If we plateau at the level we’re at right now, we cannot sustain it in our hospitals. It is too much, with too many people sick.”

The governor said that two-thirds of Kentucky’s hospitals continue to deal with critical staff shortages caused by the influx of COVID-19 patients, driven by the fast-spreading delta variant.

Some prominent Senate Republicans have urged the Democratic governor to call lawmakers back into special session to funnel money to hospitals to overcome staffing shortages. Beshear said lawmakers haven’t presented him with a plan.

“No one has come to me to ask for any additional special session,” he said.