Kentucky coronavirus cases and daily infection rate go up again; booster clinic in Capitol Rotunda provides 200 booster shots

Senate President Pro Tem David P. Givens, R-Greensburg, got his coronavirus booster shot at a clinic held in the Capitol Rotunda, sponsored by Gov. Andy Beshear. (Photo from Office of the Governor)

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
As the state’s coronavirus case rates inched up again, Gov. Andy Beshear and his administration hosted a Covid-19 booster clinic at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday, reporting that more than 200 people got one.
Both Health Commissioner Steven Stack and Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to get their booster if they are eligible.

“Remember how nice it was early in the summer to start to get back to the lives we used to know before this virus? These vaccination boosters are the way we get back there,” Stack said in a news release. “We’ve got to come together to work against the misinformation that’s out there about these vaccines and about the virus. The vaccines are incredibly safe and incredibly effective, and they’re how we get back to our lives and keep our friends, family and loved ones safe.”

Beshear encouraged others to hold their own clinics.
“We want to encourage other health-care providers to set up similar clinics,” said Beshear.  “The fact that today is sold out shows that when you do it in a convenient place, we can get more people boosted faster.”
As of Wednesday, 359,108 Kentuckians had received a booster, according to the release. Overall,  2.6 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 58% of the total population. The state vaccine dashboard says 2,532 children age 5 to 11 have received their first shot, or 1% of this population in the state. This age group only became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine last week.
Nationwide, about 3% of children ages 5-11 received their first dose of the vaccine through Wednesday, a White House official told NPR.
New research in Texas shows the importance of getting fully vaccinated to protect against severe illness and death. It found that unvaccinated people accounted for more than 85% of the state’s 29,000 Covid-related deaths between mid-January and October, “put another way, the unvaccinated in Texas were 40 times more likely to die of the disease than those fully vaccinated,” reports The Washington Post. 
The state reported 1,937 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, the most in 21 days, bringing the seven-day rolling average to 1,278, 39 (3.1%) higher than Tuesday. Of the new cases, 31% are in Kentuckians 18 and younger.
The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days is 5.37%, down slightly from Tuesday’s rate of 5.7%. The number of tests rose from about 76,000 Tuesday to about 83,000 Wednesday.
The seven-day infection rate increased to 23.95 daily cases per 100,000 residents, the highest in 11 days. Counties with rates more than double that rate were Robertson, 81.3; Powell, 78.6; Harrison, 54.5; Grant, 51.3; and Carroll, 49.7. The New York Times ranks Kentucky’s rate 25th among the states.
Most of Kentucky remains in either the orange or red zone, for either high (above 25) or substantial (10-25) transmission. Only 11 counties are in the yellow zone, considered to have moderate transmission (1-10).
Kentucky hospitals reported 688 Covid-19 patients, 19 more than Tuesday, with 175 in intensive care (up four) and 112 on mechanical ventilation (up one).
Intensive-care units appear to be filling up again, with nine of the state’s 10 hospital regions reporting that they are using at least 80% of their intensive care unit capacity. Five of the regions are using at least 90% capacity, with Northern Kentucky using the most, 96%.
The state reported 42 more Covid-19 deaths, bringing the pandemic death toll to 10,104.
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