State reports 33 more Covid-19 deaths, 22 from regular reports; Beshear urges Kentuckians to get vaccinated in their honor

Gov. Andy Beshear looking at the flags on the state Capitol grounds that represent Kentuckians lost to Covid-19. (Facebook photo)

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

As the key metrics used to measure the coronavirus in Kentucky continue to plateau, Gov. Andy Beshear reminded Kentuckians that people are still dying from the virus, and asked them to get vaccinated in their honor.

“Every day, I look out across the flags that represent Kentuckians lost to this virus and say a prayer for all those mourning each and every loss,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Facebook post. “Let’s get vaccinated in their honor. Let us fight to protect the lives of our people.”

The state added 33 deaths to its list of Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, 22 from regular health department reporting and 11 from the ongoing audit of death certificates. As usual for a weekend, the state did not provide an itemized list of the victims by age, sex, county and date of death. The death toll is 6,436.

The state’s vaccine report shows that about 1.7 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of a vaccine, which means about 784,000 more Kentuckians need to get a vaccination to meet Gov. Andy Beshear’s 2.5 million goal.

Beshear has said he will open businesses and activities with fewer than 1,000 people to full capacity when 2.5 million Kentuckians have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

As coronavirus vaccinations have slowed down, Beshear has called on local leaders and businesses to encourage their communities to get vaccinated and several of them have stepped up to the plate.

In Lexington, the University of Kentucky, local faith leaders and SHARE Lexington hosted a Covid-19 Vaccine Community Town Hall today to answer questions about safety, efficacy and long-term effects of coronavirus vaccines, an offered attendees the opportunity to register to get one.

And in Louisville, through a partnership with U of L HealthCentral High School students led an outreach effort to inform their community, classmates and their classmates’ families with factual information about the coronavirus vaccine that culminated in a one-day vaccine clinic in West Louisville. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman visited the high school to celebrate the clinic.

“This vaccine clinic is just one example of the successes that can occur when we value the voices and talents of young people,” said Coleman in the news release. “Our students have been impacted by this pandemic as much as anyone. They know how serious this is, and they’re eager to help protect their community from this virus.”

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days dropped for the sixth day in a row, to 3.21%. That’s about where it was 11 days ago, four days after hitting a recent low of 2.79%.

The state reported 489 new cases of the virus Saturday, bringing the seven-day average down by 16, to 517.  Its seven-day average of daily new cases dropped for the seventh day in a row,  to 10.15 cases per 100,000 residents. The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s rate 36th among the states.

Counties with rates more than double the statewide rate were Lewis, 43; Bath, 41.1; Powell, 35.8;  Mason, 32.6; Morgan, 32.2; Robertson, 27.1; Montgomery, 25.4; Simpson, 20.8; and Bracken , 20.6.

Counties with 10 or more new cases were Jefferson, 72; Fayette, 43; Warren, 21; Montgomery, 16; Daviess, Kenton and Trigg, 12; Hardin and Scott, 11; and Henderson, 10.

Kentucky hospitals reported 404 Covid-19 patients, 102 of them in intensive care, and 45 of those on a ventilator.

The Lake Cumberland hospital readiness region is the only using 80% or more of its intensive care unit beds, at 84.44%, with only 17.8% of those patients having Covid-19. Click here for the state’s daily report.

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