Gov. Beshear: State reports highest week ever for new Covid-19 cases

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Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 8:40 AM CST
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Governor Andy Beshear provided an update on several topics Monday afternoon.

Beshear says Kentucky reported 52,603 new COVID-19 cases last week, the highest weekly total ever by nearly 22,000 cases.

The governor also says the positivity rate is now at 26.33%.

“As of today, our positivity rate is 26.33% meaning now one in four people who get tested can test positive for Covid. We have never seen that before,” Beshear says.

Covid positivity rate in Ky.
Covid positivity rate in Ky.(Gov. Beshear)

The governor says on Saturday, 6,750 new Covid cases and 32 Covid-related deaths were reported. On Sunday, 5,235 new Covid cases and 21 Covid-related deaths were reported. On Monday, 5,049 new Covid cases and 14 Covid-related deaths were reported.

Beshear says the National Guard is assisting overwhelmed hospitals in Kentucky after several see a rise in hospitalizations due to Covid-19.

Kentucky currently has 1,873 Covid patients being hospitalized, 452 in ICU and 238 on ventilators.

The governor says the good news is several Kentuckians are getting their vaccinations.

“Over the weekend, 11,672 Kentuckians decided to get their first shot of hope,” he says. “That’s 11,672 new Kentuckians on the way to vaccination. The fully vaccinated number, a little bit better, 7,122 got their second shot to become fully vaccinated and 23,283 got boosted over the weekend.”

Kentucky residents can visit to find vaccine locations.

Total Covid vaccinations in Ky.
Total Covid vaccinations in Ky.(Gov. Beshear)

Dr. Steven Stacks with the Kentucky Department for Public Health says in just two weeks Kentucky has gone from roughly half of the Delta surge peak to nearly double.

Stacks says at this point, that means there is a chance that 95-100% of Covid cases will be reported as the Omicron variant.

Stacks is encouraging people to do the following if they believe they have Covid or have been exposed:

1. Stay at home and do not go to the ER for a Covid test

2. Call your doctor

3. Get your Covid vaccination or booster shot if eligible

4. Wear a mask

5. Get tested

“If workplaces and schools don’t do these things, Omicron will run through like a wildfire and quickly shut places, like offices, assembly lines and classrooms, not by government or anyone else, but by absence ill employees and students who don’t report to work or school,” Stacks says.

Dr. Stacks also provided a chart for universal masking within schools.

Universal masking K-12 in Ky.
Universal masking K-12 in Ky.(Gov. Beshear)

Beshear also provided an update on tornado recovery efforts.

Beshear says Kentucky state parks are providing housing and food services for 480 displaced Kentuckians and 139 first responders.

Beshear says those who have been displaced because of the deadly storm, and are staying in Kentucky state parks have been given another 30 days to stay in that housing.

“For those who are displaced because of the tornadoes staying in our state parks, we’ve got you,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are going to make sure that we can make that transition to semi-permanent housing and do it the right way. We are going to keep that housing available for at least another 30 days.”

After talking with FEMA officials, the governor says FEMA declined giving a 90 day extension to the 100 percent match, however, they will be flexible. Kentucky still has 30 days of 100 percent coverage, but now they can choose which 30 days they want a 100 percent on.

“In other words, we can figure out the costliest 30 day period that the federal government will cover everything on,” he says. “This is not what we wanted, but it’s a little bit more help and it’ll be more significant.”

You can watch the full briefing here:

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