Beshear: COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations still too high even if state plateaus


FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says last week was the third-highest week of COVID-19 cases reported throughout the pandemic. He says even if the current wave of COVID-19 looks might soon plateau, he says this is still far too high for the state to sustain.

The governor says the state has seen a couple days of decreasing current hospitalizations and a fairly steady number of ICU admissions and that he hopes this is the beginning of a trend, however, he again says the number is still far too high and still overwhelming for hospitals and healthcare workers.

“While we hope this is a trend and, or plateau, we cannot sustain a plateau at this level with the number of people it would put in a hospital,” Beshear said. “A plateau will continue to push our hospitals over capacity. Far too many cases.”

The governor says a dip in cases the week before, however, could also still be due to a lack of testing over the Labor Day weekend.

According to the governor, health officials have noticed a pattern as the Delta variant spreads, pointing out that in earlier strains of the virus, it was common for one person in a household to contract the virus without other people in the home getting sick, but with the Delta variant, health officials are seeing more instances of entire households contracting the virus.

Beshear says approximately 59% of the state’s overall population has now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For those eligible, that is 70% and 72% for those 18 or older.

State health officials say by age group, the percentage of first doses is as follows:

  • 65 and over: 91%
  • 50 – 64 years: 79%
  • 40-49 years: 69%
  • 30-39 years: 63%
  • 18-29 years: 50%
  • 12-17 years: 46%

The month of August saw the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the governor.

As of Monday, Sept. 20, the state now has a total of 658,231 COVID-19 cases and 8,339 deaths throughout the pandemic.

the governor broke down the numbers over each day of the weekend as follows:

  • Saturday, Sept. 18: 3,811 new COVID-19 cases and 48 new deaths, including a 22-year-old and a 23 year old.
  • Sunday, Sept. 19: 2,685 new COVID-19 cases and 23 new deaths, including a 22-year-old
  • Monday, Sept. 20: 2,075 new COVID-19 cases and 17 new deaths

Beshear says of those newly reported deaths, 86 of the three-day 88 total happened in the past four to six weeks.

In the pediatric hospitals, Beshear says 21 children are in the hospital and seven are in the ICU. This does not reflect the number of children hospitalized or in the ICU in non-pediatric hospitals.

The Bluegrass State’s positivity rate for today is listed as 12.18%. Clinton and Lyon counties are the only two of the state’s 120 counties currently not in red on the current incidence rate map. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says all Kentucky counties are currently listed as having a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Kentucky current incidence rate map for Sept. 20, 2021 (Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Department for Public Health)

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