FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – “We continue to move in the right direction, and we are moving there quickly,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a COVID-19 press conference Monday afternoon at the state Capitol.
“Last week was our lowest number of cases in 11 weeks,” he said. “We are down from 30,000 cases a week to around 9,700. But, remember, that’s up from about 1,200 cases in the summer, when we got to our best place in a while.”
On Monday, there were 544 new cases reported to state public health officials. There were only two counties reporting more than 20 cases, and they were Kentucky’s two most populous: Jefferson had 131, and there were 35 in Fayette County. That brings the state’s pandemic total to 736,724, since the first positive case was confirmed in Harrison County on March 6, 2020.
The number of Kentuckians on the daily hospital census has now dipped below 1,000. 919 people were hospitalized due to COVID on Monday. Of them, 281 were in the ICU and 157 on a ventilator.
Kentucky’s positivity rate is now back below the 6% mark, at 5.84%. “We are decreasing at almost the same speed we increased. That is a very good sign,” Beshear said.
The one negative is that there were 23 new deaths on Monday, which raises the number of Kentuckians lost due to COVID-19 to 9,640.
Gov. Beshear urged people who are now approved for a vaccine booster, to go ahead and get one. “If you’re over 65, if you have a serious underlying health condition, or if you are exposed to a whole lot of people through your work; now, no matter which vaccine you received, you can now get a booster. Now, if you received Johnson & Johnson, no matter your age, your job, or health condition, go ahead and get your booster.”
He said, at some point, all Americans will be allowed to get the booster vaccine, not just those in the higher risk groups or those who have had the J&J vaccine.
Beshear also said he expects the Pfizer vaccine to be approved for children ages 5-11 soon, as the FDA advisory panel meets on the topic on Tuesday, and expects his daughter Lila to be one of the first to be vaccinated. “It’s an exciting topic for the dad of an 11-year-old. I’ve been waiting on the news for the vaccine to be approved sine we knew there would be vaccines. I know they are safe, and I know they are effective.”
His 12-year-old son Will has already been immunized.