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Gov. Beshear: ‘Due to national shortage, there will not be enough monoclonal antibody infusions anywhere. Get the vaccine’

Governor Andy Beshear will give a Team Kentucky update on Monday, September 20.
Governor Andy Beshear will give a Team Kentucky update on Monday, September 20.(Governor Andy Beshear)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 3:51 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 2:58 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear said Kentucky administered more than 5,000 monoclonal antibody treatment courses last week, but the state will only receive 4,960 courses this week due to a national shortage.

The governor made the announcement during a Team Kentucky update on Monday, September 20.

He said the treatments will be allocated to 79 sites around Kentucky based on backorder requests, current inventory and previous week utilization.

“We will have at least one monoclonal antibody treatment provider in each of our Area Development Districts, but there’s not going to be enough anywhere,” said Governor Beshear. “If you’re putting off a vaccine to have an infusion, let me tell you, an infusion is much more invasive, and there are not going to be enough of those anywhere in the commonwealth. Get that vaccine.”

The governor said 8,750 COVID-19 cases and 88 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Kentucky since Friday. Three of the Kentuckians who died were in their early 20s.

“While we hope that our weekly case numbers are plateauing, we cannot sustain a plateau at this level with the number of people it would put in the hospital,” he said. “On any given day, we’ve only got between 90 and 120 total open adult ICU beds in the state. And that’s with many outpatient and elective procedures canceled to allow more space in the hospital to be converted to ICU units. This cannot become business as usual.”

The governor also shared Kentucky Department for Public Health guidance to K-12 schools for preventing the spread of COVID-19 among students, educators and school staff.

It includes multiple, layered prevention strategies; requiring universal masking; encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations among all eligible Kentuckians 12 and older; ensuring physical distancing as much as possible; improving facility ventilation; making sure sick students and staff stay home; making COVID-19 testing available and quarantining unvaccinated individuals after exposures; and collaborating with local health departments.

KDPH contracted with 19 laboratory service providers to offer COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools in Kentucky at no cost.

The testing is available to schools in all Kentucky counties, though it is the responsibility of the school or district leadership to set up a testing program for their school community.

Kentucky cases of COVID-19

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported 2,075 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 additional deaths on Monday, September 20.

The case numbers broken down by days since the last reporting includes:

Sept. 18

  • Cases: 3,811
  • Deaths: 48

Sept. 19

  • Cases: 2,685
  • Deaths: 23

The current positivity rate is 12.18 percent.

The department reported 2,254 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the state. Of those, 654 were in the ICU and 452 were on ventilators.

Governor Beshear said 2,652,144 people in Kentucky have received at least one vaccine dose, and 13,752 people have received at least one dose since Friday.

He said Kentucky ranks third among neighboring states for both percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated and percentage who have received at least one dose.

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