85 new COVID deaths over the weekend in Kentucky
It could be a ‘tough couple weeks’ in the commonwealth, but cases are starting to decline.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - Newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky are falling for the first time since the delta-fueled case surge that began in July.
There were noteworthy declines Monday in the state’s weekly case total, positivity rate and hospitalizations, according to new data from the Kentucky Department of Public Health.
But ICU admissions remain plateaued, and the state saw 85 newly confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 since Saturday.
“We are still seeing far too many deaths, and this strain is killing more and more younger Kentuckians, primarily those who are unvaccinated,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “On Saturday, our report included a 39-year-old woman from Bell County. If you’re in your teens, 20s, 30s or 40s – don’t wait. Get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
The governor also said 16 Kentucky children are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, of which six are in ICUs and five are on ventilators.
“We are going to see a couple of very tough weeks,” Beshear said, referencing the natural lag in deaths even during a case decline. “It’s a good sign that our case numbers are going down. We do need them to go down a lot faster.”
Kentucky registered 16,537 new vaccinations over the weekend, bringing the total to 2,688,829 who have gotten at least one vaccine dose.
Vaccinations remain low in the 18-29 and 12-17 age groups. The delta variant is also spreading most among those age groups, according to Beshear.
Asked about additional vaccine incentives given Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s recent announcement of an incentive program for teens and young adults, Beshear replied he favored messaging around “tough conversations” Kentuckians should have with their loved ones, what he described as “breaking the Thanksgiving day rule.”
“It’s partly because of the risk, that you’re having that conversation because you love that person so much that you’re willing to put that relationship on the line,” he said. “I believe that’s where we are, that people are not going to respond to incentives very much. They’re not going to respond to governors. They’re not even going to respond to their doctor. But having that conversation with that loved one could be what works.”
He continued: “Reach out to the person you love. Encourage them to get vaccinated. Yours is the voice they’ll listen to.”
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