Coronavirus Updates

Beshear says KY COVID-19 cases are still rising, urges vaccination

Kentucky

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is giving an update on COVID-19 in the Bluegrass State at approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.

Beshear says since the last update on Friday, Sept. 3, the state has reported a total of 13,005 new cases and 60 new deaths. The breakdown for those cases is:

  • Saturday, Sept. 4: 4,732 new cases and 29 deaths
  • Sunday, Sept. 5: 3,376 new cases and 17 deaths
  • Monday, Sept. 6: 2,541 new cases and nine deaths
  • Tuesday, Sept. 7: 2,356 new cases and five deaths

According to the governor, eight of the 60 new deaths were in Kentuckians under 50 years old. Beshear says the state has had its highest two weeks throughout the pandemic back-to-back with the highest week being this past week with more than 30,000 cases reported.

The governor does say while the number of new Delta variant cases confirmed last week was still higher than previous weeks, the increase between last week (Aug. 30-Sept. 5) and the previous week (Aug. 23-Aug. 29) is smaller than the increases have been in the past several weeks. However, the governor says due to the state’s positivity rate increasing again in the last four days, it is still too early to determine if the increase is slowing or if there are signs of a possible peak. The positivity rate for today, Sept. 7, is listed as 13.74%, still one of the highest rates the state has reported throughout the pandemic and the highest since the state has had enough COVID-19 tests available to determine more accurate rates, Beshear says.

With record numbers of cases and hospitalizations, Beshear urged Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as it gives a person approximately six times more protection than if they were unvaccinated. He says even if someone who is vaccinated were to get a breakthrough case, their illness would be less severe than if they were not vaccinated.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, 2,353 people in the Bluegrass State are in the hospital and 661 of those are in the ICU and 443 are on ventilators. The governor said in his briefing the patients on a ventilator include two children. Beshear says these are included in a total of four children currently in the ICU at the state’s two pediatric hospitals as of his briefing. The governor did say they do not have a count on the number of children in the ICU at non-pediatric hospitals. He also did not give an age or age range for any of these children.

According to the governor, 2,567,645 Kentuckians have been vaccinated. This includes 69% of adults in Kentucky. The governor says those between the ages of 18 to 29 only have a rate of 44% vaccinated and the data for those between the ages of 12 to 17 has not yet be determined.

Kentucky percentages of vaccination by age. (Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Department for Public Health)

The governor says out of Kentucky’s 120 counties, only 25 have a vaccination rate of more than 50%. Of those below 50%, 44 counties, or 36.7%, are lower than 40% vaccinated.

“To stop this thing, we need to be well, well, well over 60% [vaccinated],” Beshear says. “If you’re in one of these counties [with 40% vaccination or less] it means there’s a greater chance than not those around you are not vaccinated.”

The briefing comes as Kentucky’s legislature has been in a special session today to discuss and set Kentucky’s COVID-19 policies.

Clinton County in Southern Kentucky is the only county in orange on the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s current incidence rate map. The remaining 119 of the state’s 120 counties are all in red. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists all of Kentucky’s counties as high risk for community transmission of COVID-19.

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