Rise in new cases but other indicators improve on COVID front

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear said on Monday that he saw some encouragement in the latest COVID-19 numbers in Kentucky, while emphasizing he still wants to wait to ensure there is a trend.

“We are not only plateauing, but we may be seeing a decrease,” he said during a Capitol press conference.  “A decrease in cases, a decrease in the positivity rate, a decrease of folks in the hospital with COVID.”

Beshear pointed out that the 22,000 cases reported last week showed a decline from the three previous weeks.  “What we want to see is what this next week brings, to see how steep our decline is, or whether or not we reached a new plateau, which happened during many of our other surges.”

That was the good news, he said.  “The tough news is we are still seeing far too many deaths, with 85 combined deaths between Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

Kentucky’s positivity rate stood at 10.55%.  “The positivity rate appears to be inching down every day,” Beshear said, “but just remember, anything over 10% is still a place we do not want to be.”

Monday’s numbers showed 1,729 new cases reported to state public health officials.  That means there have been 680,454 cases of COVID-19 since the first one occurred in Harrison County during March 2020.

There were 19 new deaths, which increases the total number of Kentuckians lost during the pandemic to 8,579.  

The governor also discussed those who should or may receive a booster vaccination.  “If you received two shots of Pfizer or Moderna and you have a weakened immune system, it doesn’t matter how old you are, go get your booster.  It needs to be 28 days after your second shot.”  

The other boosters only apply to those who have had two shots of Pfizer.

--People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer, at least 6 months after their primary series of vaccinations.

--People aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer, again at least 6 months after their first two shots.

--People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a Pfizer booster shot, at least 6 months after their primary series, based on their individual benefits and risk.

--People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings may receive a booster shot of Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months after their first two Pfizer shots.

The governor noted there is nothing new in the way of regulatory approval for booster involving those who received the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, nor the Moderna two-shot vaccine, with the one exception mentioned above.


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