FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says COVID-19 still appears to be on a decline in the Bluegrass State.
However, Beshear says this evening’s COVID-19 update from the Kentucky Department for Public Health will include a grim milestone. More than 9,000 Kentuckians have now died in connection to COVID-19. The governor says while most data is trending in the right direction, he anticipates more concerning numbers in the state’s COVID-19 death toll as the rate of deaths tends to trail the number of cases by a couple of weeks.
“While we’re all excited about the trends and where we’re going, let’s remember that we’re going to live with these scars and trauma and difficulty and loss for a while, so let’s make sure that we give ourselves space, but let’s also make sure we do something about it. And the number one thing we can do is get vaccinated,” Beshear said.
Beshear says the data charts now show that hospitalizations, ICU admissions and Kentuckians on ventilators are all now decreasing at a steady rate. Beshear said this update is relieving some of the pressure on Kentucky’s hospitals with now at 58 of the state’s 96 hospitals reporting critical staffing shortages. This is the first time in at least three weeks that number has been below 60, Beshear says.
The number of Kentuckians in the hospital is also continuing to drop with 1,634 people currently hospitalized as of Wednesday evening. of those, 476 are in the ICU and 314 are on ventilators.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Kentucky Department for Public Health confirmed 2,696 new COVID-19 cases and 51 new deaths related to the virus, bringing the state to a total of 705,626 cases and 8,972 deaths throughout the pandemic. Of the new cases reported yesterday, health officials said 660 were in Kentuckians ages 18 and younger.
The governor says Kentucky is still seeing more people come in to get vaccinated, with 4,000 new COVID-19 vaccinations reported Wednesday. He says the state has not reached a point where everyone who is unvaccinated is refusing to get the vaccine, but they are reaching a point where it’s harder to get more shots in arms.
He says another reason the number of people getting vaccinated is there are fewer people to vaccinate because of the number who already have been vaccinated. As of Wednesday, 2,722,821 people across the state have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s 61% of Kentucky’s population of 4,467,673.
The state’s percent positivity rate as of Wednesday is listed as 9.11%. Lewis, Elliot, Lee, Wayne, Livingston, Ballard and Hickman counties are in orange on the state’s current incidence rate map while Crittenden and Carlisle counties are in yellow. The remaining 113 counties remain in red.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Elliot and Carlisle counties as orange on its COVID-19 data tracker map. The remaining 111 are still in orange.