FRANKFORT, WV (WOWK) – After announcing Monday the state might be reaching a new decline in COVID-19, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says the state is now officially in a decline of hospitalizations related to COVID-19, this includes ICU admissions.
However, 63 of the state’s 96 hospitals are still reporting critical staffing shortages.
As of Wednesday’s report, 1,995 Kentuckians were in the hospital with COVID-19 with 573 patients in the ICU and 384 patients on ventilators. Beshear says between the two pediatric hospitals in the state, only 11 children are hospitalized with COVID-19, however, this does not include any children who may be admitted to a non-pediatric hospital.
To keep the numbers on a decline, Beshear continues urging Kentuckians to get vaccinated and keep wearing their masks.
“Masks are proven in study after study to decrease the spread, and remember, we’re on a decline right now not just based on the virus, but on our response to it,” Beshear said. “We want to keep that moving forward.”
Beshear’s update comes as the state reported 3,893 new cases and 82 additional deaths on Wednesday evening, bringing the state to totals of 688,861 cases and 8,717 deaths throughout the pandemic. Of the new cases confirmed Wednesday, health officials say 1,226 were reported in Kentuckians ages 18 or younger.
According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the state’s current percent positivity rate is at 10.05%.
Six of the state’s 120 counties are now in orange. These include Elliot, Crittenden, Lyon, Ballard, Carlisle and Fulton counties. The remaining 114 counties remain in red.
On Monday, Beshear said he and state health officials believed the COVID-19 data in the past week shows the state may be in a plateau or the beginning of a decline. However, he says while that is good news if data continues to follow that trend, the current numbers are still far too high for the state’s hospitals to sustain.
“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 on Monday, Sept. 27.