Almost 9,900 new COVID cases reported, positivity at 23.7%
Almost one in four people are testing positivity
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Governor also announced 9,836 new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday (click to read), the highest number of new daily cases since the pandemic began. The state also reported its highest ever daily test positivity rate, 23.67%.
“Nearly 1 in 4 people being tested are coming up positive,” the Governor said. “So this week we will surpass last week’s numbers for most cases in any week during the pandemic. Hospital admissions are also increasing, and they are starting to increase rapidly.”
Beshear said Kentucky continues to experience a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, which state officials believe is the predominantly circulating variant in the commonwealth.
The Governor said although he is hopeful that we will not see a similar increase in ICU admissions and patients needing to be placed on a ventilator, there are still people who are getting very sick from the omicron variant and it is still placing a strain on our health care system.
Most patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated or have not received their booster.
The Governor reported the Department of Corrections appear to be experiencing a COVID outbreak based on wastewater testing. The impacted facilities include Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex (EKCC), Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW), Roederer Correctional Complex and Lee Adjustment Center. EKCC and KCIW are moving into lockdown to help curb the spread.
COVID-19 Case Information, Vaccinations Update
Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,792,116
New Cases Today: 9,836
New Deaths: 35
Today’s Positivity Rate: 23.67%
Current Hospitalizations: 1,783
Current Intensive Care Admittances: 402
Currently on Ventilators: 227
The Governor said 62% of all Kentuckians have received at least their first dose, as well as 67% of Kentuckians ages 5 and older and 74% of all Kentucky adults. In addition, 890,081 Kentuckians have had a vaccination booster, about 20% of the total population.
The Governor also noted that on Jan. 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed youth 12 to 17 years old are recommended to receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents age 12 to 17 years old.
Tornado and Storm Recovery Efforts
The Governor also provided an update on New Year’s Day storms that impacted much of the commonwealth, reporting the National Weather Service has confirmed nine tornadoes affecting 10 Kentucky counties with wind speeds ranging from 80 to 115 mph. On Monday, Gov. Beshear visited Hopkinsville to assess the damage from the EF-2 tornado with local Mayor Wendell Lynch and Emergency Management Director Randy Graham.
“It is an absolute miracle that no lives were lost and there were no injuries in Hopkinsville,” said Gov. Beshear. “We were very blessed that people were prepared and aware the storm was coming.”
Several other communities were impacted by flash flooding, including Green, Barren, Taylor, Adair, Owsley, Breathitt and Casey counties. These areas had numerous road closures and water rescues. High water blocked all or parts of multiple roads in Floyd, Knott and Pike counties. Damage assessments are ongoing, and the state will continue to assist and respond to Kentucky families affected.
The same day he traveled to Hopkinsville, Gov. Beshear visited Mayfield and met with local leaders in Graves and Hopkins counties to discuss cleanup and rebuilding efforts.
“Our priority continues to remain helping our Western Kentucky families recover and rebuild by working with our local, state and federal partners to ensure access to programs, resources and benefits are available to those in need,” said Gov. Beshear.