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Governor Andy Beshear holds COVID-19 briefing: some signs improve, others remain worrying

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:02 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear held a COVID-19 briefing on Monday, and while there are some signs of an improving situation, a lot of work remains to combat the virus.

You can watch the news conference below:

While new daily cases decreased over the weekend, according to Governor Beshear, the numbers still present a problem.

“A plateau will continue to push our hospitals over capacity,” he said. “Far too many cases.”

The case load continues to strain the healthcare system with some hospitals even requesting FEMA assistance.

Some officials have hoped that monoclonal infusions would help, but rationing at the federal level means a very limited supply.

“Imagine if you show up, because this is a very real possibility, it’s gonna happen, and both of your parents need it,” Governor Beshear said. “And there’s only enough for one. What’s a doctor supposed to do there? What’s a family supposed to do there?

The Governor stressed that vaccines can decrease the severity of illness as the state approaches 70% of all eligible people with at least one shot.

“What we’ve learned with the delta variant is this is not enough,” he said. “But, I don’t want to take away from those that have worked so hard to get 70 percent of those eligible vaccinated.”

The Governor continued, addressing recent reports about children under 12 getting approval for the vaccine emphasizing their importance to in-person schooling and safety.

“It cannot come soon enough,” he said. “I want them to be deliberate, I want them to make sure it is safe, but good god I am ready.”

Next week the Governor hopes to have a database of where monoclonal treatments are available.

Finally, the Governor shared the results of an FDA committee that approved booster shots for people 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19 infection.

The governor’s daily COVID report announced more than 80 deaths since Friday. He also said there were more than 8,500 new cases over the weekend.

17 of those deaths and 2,075 of those new cases were reported Monday, leaving the state with 8,339 total deaths and 658,231 total reported cases of COVID-19.

526 of Monday’s new cases were children 18 and younger. 2,254 Kentuckians remain hospitalized. 654 people remain in the ICU, with 452 on a ventilator.

The state’s positivity rate fell slightly to 12.18%

As of Monday, 117 counties across the state are in the red zone on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map, including all counties in the mountains. Whitley County leads the state with an incidence rate of 204.5 per 100,000 people.

If you have any questions about the coronavirus in Kentucky, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.

You can also find more information, including how to protect your family, by visiting Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

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