Governor Andy Beshear said that key COVID-19 statistics are clear, cases are on the rise in Kentucky, and the increase is driven by the Delta variant. “We are in an escalation, unquestionably now, in Kentucky,” he said during his Monday news conference.
When asked why rates increased when a growing percentage of Kentuckians are vaccinated, Beshear blamed the escalation on three issues: the Delta variant’s strength, waning immunity in those vaccinated but not yet boosted, and human behavior. He stated that people are growing tired of and ignoring restrictions, such as social distancing, designed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Beshear reported that public health officials have now vaccinated 61% of all Kentuckians, with 14% (640,061) of those inoculated having received a booster shot. Monday’s report included 198 new deaths from Saturday to Monday and a 9.13% positivity rate. There are currently 1,077 Kentuckians in the hospital, 310 in intensive care units, and 168 on ventilators. “This is the highest point we’ve been in nine weeks,” Beshear said.
The governor urged people to get vaccinated, stating 91% of Kentuckians over 75 have received the vaccine.
Kentucky doctors have yet to identify a case of the Omicron variant in the state. Still, national guidelines require anyone traveling overseas 2 years and older to show proof of a negative COVID test upon return. You must take the viral test within one day of departure. National guidelines recommend travelers also get tested three to five days after their return and self-isolate if symptoms appear. The governor asks unvaccinated travelers to quarantine for seven days.