FRANKFORT, KY — Governor Andy Beshear Monday announced 198 newly reported coronavirus-related deaths over the past three days in Kentucky.
The governor warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations is also increasing. 4,895 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the past three days.
The cases include 2,350 reported Saturday, 1,194 reported Sunday and 1,347 on Monday.
Among the deaths, 67 were reported on Saturday — a number that included a 49-year-old Ballard County resident — 68 reported Sunday and 63 reported Monday.
The state’s positivity rate for the COVID-19 test results remains above 9%, coming in at 9.13% on Monday.
In addition, the incidence of COVID-19 from the Kentucky Department for Public Health shows that all but 10 of the state’s 120 counties are in the red zone, indicating a high transmission rate. Overall, the state’s incidence is 47.96 average daily cases per 100,000 people.
In the past week from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, Kentucky reported 15,875 cases.
The governor said he believes the escalation has three causes: the delta variant of COVID-19, which he said is the most contagious, deadliest variant the state has seen to date; declining immunity in people who have been fully vaccinated early in the year and have not yet received booster shots; and more relaxed behavior when it comes to pandemic protocols such as masking and social distancing in public places.
Beshear said that in addition to the rising number of cases and a rising positivity rate, Kentucky is also seeing an increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patents, including an increase in intensive care patients and an increase in the number of people on ventilators. being placed because they cannot breathe on their own.
Currently, 1,077 Kentuckians are hospitalized with the disease, including 310 in ICUs and 168 on ventilators.
The governor warned Kentuckians to take appropriate precautions this holiday season.
“We have to be careful. This is a time when we all want to be together. My family is getting together, but we have to do it safely,” Beshear said.
He outlined the following advice for having a safe, healthy vacation:
- Get vaccinated.
- Get your booster shot.
- Do not attend a meeting or event if you feel sick (including if you have a disease other than COVID-19, such as the flu).
- Wear masks when attending indoor gatherings or in public places, especially if you have not been vaccinated and/or if you are due and have not yet received a booster vaccination.
- Keep attendance low when organizing events, parties, and other gatherings.
The governor also recalled the new federal guidelines for international air travel. Under those rules, all travelers ages 2 and older returning to the United States from another country must:
- Must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 virus test performed within one day of departure.
- Must be tested three to five days after return to the US
- Should self-isolate and be tested if they develop symptoms.
- All unvaccinated travelers must also be quarantined for seven days.
Beshear said that while the increased cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations are worrying, there is one bright spot: More people are getting vaccinated.
Over the weekend, 15,117 Kentuckians got their first vaccine dose, 18,189 Kentuckians got their second dose, and 45,137 Kentuckians got their booster shot.
As of Monday, 61% of people in the state have received at least one vaccine dose (that’s 2,703,247 Kentuckians), 53% have been fully vaccinated, and 14% have had three doses. Beshear said 640,061 booster doses have been administered in Kentucky so far.
Breaking down the numbers by age:
- 75 years and older: 91%
- 65-74: 94
- 50-64: 78%
- 40-49: 68%
- 25-39: 59%
- 18-24: 51%
- 16-17: 48%
- 12-15: 44%
- 5-11: 12%
Since the start of the pandemic, Kentucky has had 799,695 known cases of COVID-19, including 11,289 deaths.