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Beshear: Omicron variant continues to spread at rapid rate

Gov. also discussed W. Ky. tornado damage as FEMA deadline approaches
Beshear: Omicron variant continues to spread at rapid rate
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:21 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 12:25 PM CST
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Governor Andy Beshear delivered another Team Kentucky update Thursday.

You can watch that full update below.

Earlier this week, Kentucky surpassed one million COVID cases and Beshear says the omicron variant continues to spread at a rapid rate.

He says this week could probably be the highest week for cases during the pandemic.

As they reported during Tuesday’s update, the state is hoping they are a couple of weeks away from the omicron variant peaking.

It’s their hope that they start to see a decline in cases in the next week and a half to two weeks.

Beshear reported the state currently has a positivity rate of about 30%.

He also reminded Kentuckians that every home can now order four free at-home COVID tests.

Beshear said that about 63% of Kentuckians have now had at least one shot.

He is telling residents it is important to get the vaccine to keep beds open at hospitals.

This comes as hospitals are getting close to the levels of hospitalizations they experienced during the delta variant.

On Thursday, the Muhlenberg County Health Department reported 110 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths.

This brings the countywide total to 7,943 cases and 103 cases.

Health officials say they are currently managing 802 active cases.

COVID-19 inpatient census for Kentucky hospitals.
COVID-19 inpatient census for Kentucky hospitals.(Team Kentucky.)

The governor also reminded those who were affected by December’s tornados that the deadline to file for FEMA assistance is February 11.

He says you need to do that to also get help from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

The governor says FEMA Disaster Survivor Teams are still canvassing neighborhoods, talking with residents to help them apply for assistance.

Since December 12, Beshear says FEMA and the Commonwealth have operated 18 disaster recovery centers in the areas affected in Western Kentucky

He also said the state has finished providing payments to every family who has lost a loved one to cover funeral expenses.

Approximately $1.4 million from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will go to more than 1,400 Kentuckians who are registered and qualify for FEMA benefits.

“This is a way we can quickly and clearly identify individuals who qualify for assistance and get the money out the door,” Gov. Beshear said.

Checks should go out within the next two weeks.

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