FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says while the state’s COVID-19 data appears to be starting a decline, the governor says the numbers of those getting sick and those dying from the virus continues to be far too high.
Weekly case totals are down from the past three weeks, but it is still one of the higher weekly totals reported throughout the pandemic. He says next week’s data will help the state see how steep the decline or new plateau actually is.
“It’s a good sign that case numbers are going down. We do need them to go down a lot faster though. Remember, even at 22,560 cases, which is a great improvement from when we had over 30,000, it’s still one of the higher weeks that we’ve had in this pandemic and that number of cases still creates challenges for our hospitals,” Beshear said.
The governor released an update on the new COVID-19 cases and deaths reported each day since the last update:
- Saturday, Sept. 25: 3,171 new cases and 37 deaths
- Sunday, Sept. 26: 1,563 new cases and 31 deaths
- Monday, Sept. 27: 1,729 new cases and 19 deaths
These additional cases and deaths bring the state to an overall total of 680,454 COVID-19 cases and 8,579 deaths throughout the course of the pandemic
Of the new cases reported today, the Kentucky Department for Public Health said 420 were in children 18 or younger.
Kentucky reported a total of 2,045 Kentuckians currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Friday with 617 of those patients in the ICU and 399 on ventilators.
Beshear says the number of Kentuckians currently hospitalized is starting to decline, however, hospitals are still at risk and struggling with capacity because the number is still too high. The governor is urging Kentuckians to continue wearing their masks, following safety protocol, getting their vaccines and encouraging others to get vaccinated to keep the number of those hospitalized on the decline and prevent a new spike as he says some states have seen.
“This strain is killing more and more younger Kentuckians, primarily unvaccinated Kentuckians. So, if you are in your 30s or in your 40s, in your 20s or below, you do need to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Beshear said.
According to Beshear, 60% of all Kentuckians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For those 12 and older, that raises to 71%, and to 73% for those 18 and older.
By age range, the percentage of those vaccinated includes:
- 65 and older: 92%
- 50-64 years: 80%
- 40-49 years: 70%
- 30-39 years: 64%
- 18-29 years: 51%
- 12-17 years: 47%
The governor’s office and the Kentucky Department for Public Health say 11 of the state’s counties now have a vaccination rate at or above 60%. These include Anderson, Boyle, Perry, Scott, Jefferson, Kenton, Franklin, Boone, Campbell, Fayette and Woodford.
“Stay safe, wear that mask, reach out to the person you love and encourage them to get vaccinated. Your voice is the one they’ll listen to,” Beshear said.
Beshear also explained more about who is eligible for a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine during his semi-daily press briefing.
Those with a weakened immune system can get a booster shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine anytime after 28 days after their second dose. This is the only group eligible for a Moderna vaccine booster.
Kentuckians who received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago are also eligible for a booster if they are over the age of 65, live in a long-term care facility, or are between the ages of 50 and 64 and have a health condition that could put them at risk of a severe COVID-19 infection.
The Pfizer booster is also available to those between the ages of 18 and 49 with medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19 and those between the ages of 18 and 64 who face a likelihood of COVID-19 exposure at work such as those in the healthcare or education and frontline workers. Those who live in a congregate setting may also get the booster shot.
At this time, there is still no second or third dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The state has a current positivity rate of 10.55% and 116 of the state’s counties are listed in red on the state’s current incidence rate map. The remaining four counties – Elliot, Ballard, Carlisle and Fulton counties – are all in orange.