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Beshear: Thanksgiving could be first ‘normal’ holiday for vaccinated families

The governor issued Thanksgiving guidance the same day he reported the most COVID cases in a month.
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:09 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - This Thanksgiving offers families the first chance since the pandemic began to gather safely and as normal—so long as they use the tools they’re given.

That was Gov. Andy Beshear’s overriding message on Monday during his weekly COVID-19 briefing, though he also provided new data showing rising cases across the Commonwealth.

“Hospitalizations and requests for monoclonal antibody infusions are ticking up,” he said. “We do not want to see that. We need to be really careful with Thanksgiving this week, as well as Christmas coming up. But unlike last year, there is an opportunity for this holiday season to be safe and pretty normal for you and your family if you follow the precautions you need to.”

Gov. Beshear delivers COVID update

HAPPENING NOW: Gov. Andy Beshear is speaking on the latest COVID-19 data out of Kentucky

Posted by FOX19 on Monday, November 22, 2021

Saturday through Monday, Kentucky recorded 3,888 new cases of COVID-19 and 101 new virus-related deaths.

Last week’s weekly case total was the highest of the last five weeks. (See weekly case graph below.)

The positivity rate is at 6.56 percent.

Hospitalizations are also increasing, though ICU admissions do not yet appear to have followed.

“As tired as we are of dealing with COVID,” Beshear said, “we can’t pretend it’s not still with us.”

It’s not yet clear whether the data will continue to rise leading to another surge of COVID in Kentucky, as appears to be the case in Europe. It’s possible case numbers could stabilize at an elevated plateau.

That is, the future is more difficult to model at this point in the pandemic due to several confounding variables, including vaccinations, boosters and the question of whether the delta variant will cause reinfections.

The governor did say someone who is vaccinated and has gotten a booster appears to be as protected against the delta variant as a fully vaccinated person (without a booster) was against the original variant prior to their immunity waning with time.

Beshear highlighted Thanksgiving guidance ahead of the holiday season:

  • Get vaccinated;
  • If already vaccinated, get a booster;
  • Do not attend a gathering if you feel sick;
  • Wear a mask if you’re indoors and unvaccinated and/or have not received a booster; and
  • Keep attendance numbers low.
Weekly COVID cases in Kentucky
Weekly COVID cases in Kentucky(Kentucky Department of Public Health)
Kentucky vaccination rates
Kentucky vaccination rates(Kentucky Department of Public Health)

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