FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says Omicron is continuing to cause a spike of COVID-19 in the Bluegrass State that has now brought the state to more than 1 million cases reported throughout the pandemic. The state confirmed its first case of the virus on March 6, 2020.

State health officials reported 72,165 new COVID-19 cases last week. For the second week in a row, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported the previous week has shattered the record of 30,680 new cases from the week of Aug. 30, 2021, during the surge of the Delta variant, this time by more than double.

Health officials in the Commonwealth are also reporting the state’s highest-ever positivity rate of 30.25%. All 120 counties in Kentucky remain in red on the state’s current incidence rate map.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, urged Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the virus, especially amid a shortage of monoclonal antibody treatments, only one of which has proven effective against Omicron.

As of the state’s last COVID-19 update, today, Tuesday, Jan. 18, the KDPH reported the following COVID-19 data since its Jan. 14 update:

  • Saturday, Jan. 15: 14,896 new COVID-19 cases and 39 additional deaths
  • Sunday, Jan. 16: 9,730 new COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths
  • Monday, Jan. 17: 6,644 new COVID-19 cases and 18 additional deaths
  • Tuesday, Jan. 18: 8,742 new COVID-19 cases and 16 additional deaths

These totals bring the state to a total of 1,014,703 cases and 12,614 deaths throughout the pandemic. The governor says Saturday broke the record for the number of new cases reported in a single day.

Kentucky health officials say 2,200 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized with the virus and, of those patients, 431 are in the ICU and 244 are on ventilators.