A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gov. Beshear says COVID spike may be easing but numbers still too high; ‘get vaccinated, wear masks’

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Signs are that the latest spike in COVID-19 cases in Kentucky may be easing, Gov. Andy Beshear said on Thursday. 

The governor said, however, 63 of the state’s 96 hospitals still have critical staffing shortages.

Gov. Beshear: Get vaccinated, wear masks.

“But the positive is we have seen hospitalizations decrease, and now ICU utilization is decreasing over the past seven days on our rolling average. This is now enough of a trend to say we are in a decline, and we hope it continues for people who are hospitalized for COVID.”

The governor pointed out two reasons for the decline: More people getting vaccinated and more people wearing their masks.
“Keep it up,” he said, urging Kentuckians to get the COVID-19 booster if eligible.
“While this is generally good news, let’s remember it still means a lot of people are dying. We had 82 deaths reported Wednesday, a large portion of them were people under 60. This thing is deadlier than ever. If you are unvaccinated, it is incredibly deadly and has taken so many people,” Beshear said.

State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack provided an update on Kentucky’s efforts to open sites where people can get monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment courses.

The allocation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Kentucky this week was 6,114 courses, down 802 courses from the previous week. Kentucky used 4,074 mAb treatment courses the week ending Sept. 28 and had 9,671 courses on hand.

HHS allocates mAbs to states on Monday afternoons based on prior week case rate, hospitalizations and mAbs utilization. Kentucky mAb administration sites submit requests to KDPH, which then enters orders for direct shipment from the federal distributor to the sites.

“There’s not enough for the entire nation, and that’s why there’s this new allocation system,” said Stack. “So when you contact a site, they’re going to use current Food and Drug Administration criteria for who are the highest risk and the most in need, and they’re going to use that coupled with their supply to determine prioritization and who can get the treatment at that time.

“Obviously, the hope is the disease will go down, we’ll need less of this and everyone who needs it will have access.”

Stack said Kentuckians can visit kycovid19.ky.gov to find a mAb administration site in their area.

Thursday’s daily COVID report showed 2,510 new cases reported to state public health officials, raising the total to 691,363 since the first case was reported on March 6, 2020.

Boone County reported 90 new cases, Kenton County 86 and Campbell County 26.

There were also 53 more deaths, which means there have been 8,770 Kentuckians who lost their lives to COVID-19 during the pandemic.

The state’s positivity rate is now 10.08%, based on a seven-day rolling average of tests versus positive cases, and is slightly above Wednesday’s 10.05%.

There were 1,976 people in the hospital, down 19 from Wednesday. The 566 in the ICU and 381 people on a ventilator also were lower than the previous day.

A total 112 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are considered in the red zone with at least 25 cases per 100,000 population.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment