FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear updated the state on COVID-19 for the first time since the state reached the grim milestone on Friday of 8,000 Kentuckians who have died in connection to COVID-19 when 32 new deaths rose the death toll to 8,003.

Since the pandemic began, Kentucky has reported 630,299 total COVID-19 cases. Health officials say 2,426 of those cases are newly reported today, Sept. 13, 2021. Out of those new cases, 665 were reported in children 18 or younger.

Because the state does not update over the weekends, Beshear broke down the totals since Friday:

  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 4,470 new cases, 18 new deaths
  • Sunday, Sept. 12: 3,111 new cases, 21 new deaths
  • Monday, Sept. 13: 2,426 new cases, 29 new deaths

The three-day total of new deaths brings Kentucky to an overall death toll of 8,071 Kentuckians who have died in connection to COVID-19.

The governor says he is urging Kentuckians to take the initiative to have difficult conversations with the people they love to encourage them to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Beshear quoted the CDC’s recent findings that unvaccinated individuals are 11 times more likely to die of the virus than someone who is vaccinated.

“I’m asking you to break the Thanksgiving rule and have a tough conversation with those you love and care about who are hesitant to get the vaccine,” Beshear said in a Tweet. “It won’t be easy. But they are more likely to listen to a friend or family member, and that hard conversation could save their life.”

Beshear says with updated census data, the state now has a more accurate calculation of how many Kentuckians have begun the vaccination process. According to the data, 59% of all Kentuckians, including those too young to get the vaccine, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For those who are eligible for the vaccine, or those 12 and older, 69% have gotten at least one shot.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, 91% of Kentuckians 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For those between the ages of 50% and 64% the percentage of those who have one dose is at 78%. The governor says those between 40 and 49-years old and 30 and 39 years old are slightly lower with 68% and 62% who have one dose, respectively.

According to the governor, the largest group by incidence rate testing positive is the 10-19 year-olds followed by the 20-29 year-olds. For those in these age ranges eligible for the vaccine, 45% of 12-17 year-olds have received at least one dose and 49% of 18 to 29 year-olds have received at least one dose.

The governor says of the state’s 120 counties, 28 still have less than 40% of their populations that have started the vaccination process, meaning in these counties, the chances of encountering someone who is not vaccinated is greater than the chance of encountering someone who is vaccinated. However, only 36 counties have a vaccination rate of 50% or higher.

“One thing that we have noticed recently is a big influx of COVID-19-positive patients that are younger. The ones that are the sickest are the ones who are unvaccinated,” said Alicia Hume, RN, clinical outcomes specialist at the Medical Center at Bowling Green Emergency Department in a video message during Beshear’s semi-daily COVID-19 briefing. “The ones who are vaccinated aren’t getting as sick and typically don’t have to be admitted unless they have some comorbidities or health problems prior to coming in.”

The state’s positivity rate is currently listed as 13.70%. Clinton County is the only one of Kentucky’s 120 counties not listed as red on the current incident rate map.