Beshear: worst week of COVID cases in nine weeks

Governor Andy Beshear released a statement on social media on the new omicron variant.
Governor Andy Beshear released a statement on social media on the new omicron variant.(Governor Andy Beshear)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:18 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Despite the latest increase in the omicron variant, the delta variant continues to be the deadliest and most highly transmissible strain of the coronavirus.

“It is delta that is causing the U.S. average to be the highest that it’s been in two months,” Beshear said. “It is currently our enemy number one.”

However, the omicron variant is raising concern across the nation and continues to grow across the country, primarily in northern states. Beshear said the increase in cases could be due to waning immunity, the increase of larger and more frequent get togethers, less mask wearing, and more.

Over the last three days, there were 198 new COVID deaths reported.

“Again, just because some of us want to be over this virus, doesn’t mean it is over us,” he said.

On Saturday, there were 2,350 new cases of COVID and 67 deaths including a 38 year-old from Hardin County, and a 39-year-old from Whitley County.

“It is now everybody that this virus comes for,” he said. “We are fighting death itself, it comes in the form of this virus. Please use the tools that are there to protect yourself and your families.”

On Sunday, there were 1,194 new COVID cases and 68 new deaths, including a 23-year-old woman from Morgan County. Today, there were 1,347 new COVID cases 63 new deaths including a 38-year-old woman. The current positivity rate is 9.13 percent.

“We are at the highest point we have been in nine weeks,” he said. “Last time we were at this level was the week of Oct. 11. So 15,875 cases where we are right now, the highest we have been aside from the peaks or near peaks of each of the escalations that we have had. We are certainly not headed in the right direction.”

Beshear said hospitalizations are also increasing, but not as steep compared to the last escalation. However, patients in the ICU are increasing, as well as Kentuckians who are needing a ventilator to survive.

There are currently 1,077 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 310 in the ICU, and 168 patients are on a ventilator. With the holiday season already here, Beshear urges Kentuckians to be careful as “we are certainly in another escalation.”

He emphasizes the reality of waning immunity and for everyone to get their booster shot.

He advises people to get vaccinated, get a booster shot, avoid gatherings if feeling ill, wear masks indoors if unvaccinated and/or not boosted, and to keep attendance numbers low to have a safe holiday.

“Let’s make sure that everyone that’s at this Christmas is at next Christmas,” he said.

Over the weekend, over 15,000 Kentuckians got their first vaccine shot, over 18,000 are now fully vaccinated, and over 45,000 received their booster. In total, over two million Kentuckians are vaccinated.

Beshear said to his current knowledge, there has not been a confirmed case of the omicron variant in Kentucky, however, due to the rapid spread of the variant, he would not be surprised if it were already here.

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