FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky has surpassed 1 million total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 1,014,703 total cases as of Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said.
The governor also announced the state’s highest-ever day for newly reported cases on Saturday – 14,896 – as well as the highest ever test positivity rate Tuesday – 30.25%.
“The increase in cases is severe, by far more than any other surge we’ve had,” Beshear said. “But the good news is, 75% of Kentuckians 18 and up have been vaccinated. I think that’s a pretty big deal. Three-quarters of everyone in Kentucky who can make their own health care decisions have decided to get vaccinated. That is an overwhelming majority.”
The state also reported 72,165 new Kentucky COVID-19 cases the week ending Jan. 16, the highest week ever. This new record surpasses the second-highest week by nearly 20,000 cases (Jan. 3-9: 52,603 cases) and the third-highest week by nearly 40,000 cases (Aug. 30–Sept. 5: 30,680 cases).
Beshear also reported the state’s highest-ever average weekly positivity rate, 29.33%, for the week ending Jan. 16. This is nearly 4 percentage points higher than the second-highest week (Jan. 3-9: 25.84%); and 9 percentage points higher than the third-highest week (Dec. 27–Jan. 2: 20.38%). The highest weekly positivity rate during the delta variant surge was 13.88% the week ending Sept. 12, 2021.
COVID-19 case information, vaccinations update
- Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,824,262
- Number of people who have received their vaccination booster in Kentucky: 959,754
- Jan. 15, Cases: 14,896
- Jan. 15, Deaths: 39
- Jan. 16, Cases: 9,730
- Jan. 16, Deaths: 23
- Jan. 17, Cases: 6,644
- Jan. 17, Deaths: 18
- New Cases Tuesday: 8,742
- New Deaths: 16
- Tuesday’s Positivity Rate: 30.25%
- Current Hospitalizations: 2,200
- Current Intensive Care Admittances: 431
- Currently on Ventilators: 244
The governor said 63% of all Kentuckians have received at least their first dose, as well as 67% of Kentuckians ages 5 and older and 75% of all Kentucky adults.
“Hospitals are struggling, and some have declared crisis standards for staffing,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “More than 450 Kentucky National Guard women and men are currently supporting the COVID-19 response in health care facilities. Thank you to all of our health care professionals who keep showing up to help others even under these circumstances.”
He continued: “There could be some light ahead. If Kentucky follows the pattern of Rhode Island and New York. Both Rhode Island and New York are showing a rapid decline in new cases that appears to mirror the immediately prior vertical climb. If Kentucky follows this pattern, then we may see our own peak within the next one to two weeks. This would be a very welcome reprieve. Until then, I urge all Kentuckians to not go to an ER just to get a COVID test.”
Stack said that President Joe Biden’s plan to make 1 billion at-home tests directly available to the public has launched. Individuals may order four at-home COVID-19 tests per household at COVIDtests.gov starting on Jan. 19.
Stack said the one monoclonal antibody treatment effective against the omicron variant, as well as the Pfizer antiviral medication, are not yet widely available, but vaccines and boosters are abundant and highly effective.