A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports highest-ever daily COVID cases, positivity at 23.67%; hospital admissions increasing

Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on the winter storms moving across the Commonwealth and urged Kentuckians to avoid travel due to hazardous road conditions and reports of multiple accidents. District crews from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have been pretreating roads this week, with crews out responding to hazardous roadways. The cabinet asked for cooperation and partnership of the public, with four specific requests:

• Limit travel to what’s necessary when snow and ice are on the roads;
• Give snow plows and crew members plenty of room on the road; and
• Ensure personal vehicles are winter ready, with the recommendation of keeping an emergency kit in vehicles.
• Mask up to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect against the quarantine of plow crews essential to roadway treatment.

See SnowKy.Ky.gov for road conditions.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant Update

The Governor also announced 9,836 new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday, the highest number of new daily cases since the pandemic began. The state also reported its highest ever daily test positivity rate, 23.67%.

Gov. Beshear

“Nearly 1 in 4 people being tested are coming up positive,” the Governor said. “So this week we will surpass last week’s numbers for most cases in any week during the pandemic. Hospital admissions are also increasing, and they are starting to increase rapidly.”

Gov. Beshear said Kentucky continues to experience a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, which state officials believe is the predominantly circulating variant in the commonwealth.

The Governor said although he is hopeful that we will not see a similar increase in ICU admissions and patients needing to be placed on a ventilator, there are still people who are getting very sick from the omicron variant and it is still placing a strain on our health care system. Most patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated or have not received their booster.

The Governor reported the Department of Corrections appear to be experiencing a COVID outbreak based on wastewater testing.

The impacted facilities include Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex (EKCC), Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW), Roederer Correctional Complex and Lee Adjustment Center. EKCC and KCIW are moving into lockdown to help curb the spread.

COVID-19 Case Information, Vaccinations Update

Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,792,116
New Cases Today: 9,836
New Deaths: 35
Today’s Positivity Rate: 23.67%
Current Hospitalizations: 1,783
Current Intensive Care Admittances: 402
Currently on Ventilators: 227

Kenton County reported 501 new cases, Boone County 458 cases, and Campbell County 269 cases.

The Governor said 62% of all Kentuckians have received at least their first dose, as well as 67% of Kentuckians ages 5 and older and 74% of all Kentucky adults. In addition, 890,081 Kentuckians have had a vaccination booster, about 20% of the total population.

The Governor also noted that on Jan. 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed youth 12 to 17 years old are recommended to receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents age 12 to 17 years old.

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