Gov. Beshear: State reports highest week ever for new COVID-19 cases

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 10:53 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear said Kentucky reported the highest week ever for new COVID-19 cases.

He said there were 52,603 new COVID-19 cases last week, the highest weekly total ever by nearly 22,000 cases.

The second-highest week for new cases was the week ending Sept. 5, 2021, when 30,680 cases were reported.

During his briefing at 3 p.m. at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, the governor also reported the state’s highest-ever test positivity rate on Monday, 26.33 percent.

He also updated everyone on relief efforts for families impacted by Dec. 10-11 tornadoes.

“Omicron continues to burn through the commonwealth, growing at levels we have never seen before. Omicron is significantly more contagious than even the delta variant,” said Governor Beshear. “If it spreads at the rate we are seeing, it is certainly going to fill up our hospitals.”

The governor said he is deploying 445 Kentucky National Guard members to 30 health care facilities to provide support, starting this week.

“We are now in a nearly vertical spike the likes of which dwarf all prior escalations,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “In just two weeks, Kentucky has gone from roughly half our delta variant surge peak to more than double our delta variant surge peak. At this point, essentially all COVID-19 in Kentucky is likely to be the omicron variant.”

Dr. Stack provided several tips to help Kentuckians during the surge:

  • If you are sick, stay home until you feel better
  • Get vaccinated or boosted, if eligible. Boosters dramatically bolster your protection against severe disease and death
  • Wear a well-fitting mask at all times when indoors in public places such school, work, stores, etc.
  • If you think you have COVID-19 and/or have had a high-risk exposure and you are able, get tested

Dr. Stack also said K-12 schools guidance is changing in light of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updating its K-12 isolation and quarantine guidance last week.

Dr. Stack said, “Most importantly, universal masking is essential with omicron. If universal masking is not required in K-12 schools, omicron will spread rapidly and result in rapid and massive student and staff absences to due illness.”

You can read more from Dr. Stack’s presentation here.

Governor Beshear will give his 2022 Budget Address on Thursday, January 13 at 6 p.m.

Cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported 5,049 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths, as of Jan. 10.

The current positivity rate is 26.33 percent.

As of Monday, 1,873 Kentuckians were hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 452 were in the ICU and 238 were on ventilators.

According to KDPH, 2,807,380 Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. They reported 922,105 Kentuckians have received their vaccination booster.

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