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Governor: Kentucky’s COVID-19 positivity rate decreasing quickly

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s COVID-19 test positivity rate and the number of new cases are declining, Gov. Andy Beshear said on Monday.

“We are almost decreasing in cases at the speed that we increased,” Beshear said. “That is a very good sign. Our weekly case numbers are the lowest they have been in 11 weeks. Our efforts to get more and more Kentuckians vaccinated have made a huge difference.”

During the week ending Oct. 24, 9,749 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Kentucky.

The governor highlighted a report that COVID-19 vaccinations could begin by early next month for children ages 5 to 11.

He also recognized and thanked St. Stephen Church in Louisville, which hosted a vaccine clinic for its congregation and community.

The governor also shared more information from Kentucky health care leaders about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

“Over time, your immune response to the vaccine that you got slowly decreases. You are seeing a decrease in protection from getting COVID-19, but very little decrease in your protection from hospitalization. You are still very protected from severe COVID-19 and hospitalization,” said Dr. Rebecca Dutch, virologist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. “To decrease your chances of getting COVID, they are recommending that certain groups of people go ahead and get a booster. What that will do is basically give your immune system another chance to up its response level. It’s a protective mechanism.”

Beshear said if Kentuckians are over age 65, have significant underlying conditions or are exposed to many people through their work, they should get a vaccination booster. The Moderna and Pfizer boosters are ready and available. Kentuckians who got the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine should talk to their doctor about whether they should get a different vaccine for their booster or get another J&J dose.

Case information, vaccinations update

  • Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,778,996. (The governor expects to receive updated vaccination numbers from the federal government after one major vaccine provider entered data in two different ways, resulting in duplications.)
  • Oct. 23, Cases: 1,275
  • Oct. 23, Deaths: 30
  • Oct. 24, Cases: 803
  • Oct. 24, Deaths: 28
  • New Cases Monday: 544
  • New Deaths: 23
  • Monday’s Positivity Rate: 5.84%
  • Current Hospitalizations: 919
  • Current Intensive Care Admittances: 281
  • Currently on Ventilators: 157

During the week ending Oct. 24, 9,749 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Kentucky.

From March 1 to Oct. 20, 84.5% of COVID-19 cases, 91.6% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 82.2% of COVID-19 deaths in Kentucky have been among those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Beshear said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance helpline is 1-844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585), available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. For fastest service following their application, Kentuckians can begin submitting documentation online through DisasterAssistance.gov.

FEMA EMS strike teams update

Beshear said after eight weeks onsite in Bowling Green, Corbin, Lexington, Louisville and Somerset, five FEMA EMS strike teams – including a total of 25 ambulances and 50 staff members – received 2,191 transport requests, completed 1,957 patient transports and drove 70,915 miles with patients onboard. FEMA strike team staff members serving in Kentucky represented 14 states. The teams were demobilized Oct. 24, and today, Gov. Beshear thanked them for their selfless efforts.

Kentucky labor market update

For August 2021, Kentucky had the fifth-highest hiring rate in the country.

“That means people are finding jobs, but I know we need them to find them faster,” Beshear said. “Five-point-five percent is exciting.”

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