A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear says, while weekly figures on COVID shows increases, things ‘aren’t as bad as they appear to be’

Despite the latest weekly figures on the COVID-19 pandemic showing increases in new cases, the positivity rate and hospitalizations, Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday that things aren’t as bad as they appear to be.

Gov. Beshear at his regular press conference. (Photo by Tom Latek/Kentucky Today)

“When we look at new cases,” he said, “and remember we don’t get reports of all new cases now that there are so many at home tests, we really see that it does not look like we are in a continued escalation. It looks like we are either plateaued or maybe a little bit of a drop from where we were going.”

Still, he pointed out there is still a lot of COVID out there. “So, watch out for this. Make decisions that protect yourself, get tested if you feel sick, and certainly don’t go to work or be out in public, if you are sick.”

The home testing is also affecting the positivity rate, because negative home tests aren’t reported to state public health officials, the governor said. “It’s pretty tough to gauge compared to previous times in the pandemic, because the positivity rate is limited to professionally administered tests. These aren’t the at-home tests, so by the time you get one of these, you think you are likely to have COVID.” 
While hospitalizations have risen some, according to Beshear, “If you look at any point in this pandemic, this is the most moderate increase that we have seen, and while we don’t necessarily expect it to continue, we will certainly watch it. ICU usage and ventilators are still at the lowest point they have been throughout the pandemic.”

He also noted that 77% of Kentuckians 18 and older have now had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.  “There is still a lot more to do, especially with younger kids, since vaccine use has now been opened up to those who are younger than 11.”

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