Kentucky’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decline

As the virus’s prevalence wanes, Gov. Beshear says Kentuckians should resist feeling pressure to take off masks if they think it’s best for them to keep wearing them in public

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decline, but Gov. Andy Beshear doesn’t think the state is plateauing.

“We’re seeing a steady decline in COVID-19 numbers,” said Gov. Beshear. “Some might worry that our cases are plateauing, but two weeks ago, we had President’s Day, so we believe that some of the cases that otherwise would have been in two weeks ago, ended up coming in last week. Our hope is that next week we will see an even larger decline.”

The state reported 13,305 cases two weeks ago.  For the week ending March 6, that number was down to 12,010, according to the state.

Gov. Beshear on Monday reported the state’s positivity rate was down to 6.04-percent.  Two weeks ago the positivity rate was 9.01-percent.

The current number of people in the hospital fighting the coronavirus is 652 with 148 patients in intensive care and 88 on ventilators, according to the state.

During the week ending March 6, 275 deaths were reported and for the week ending February 27, 196 deaths were reported by the state.

As Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack announced last week, the commonwealth has aligned with the weekly data reporting of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is expected to release data and a community-level map after the close of business every Thursday. On Fridays, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) will update the state map on kycovid19.ky.gov. On the following Monday, KDPH will post weekly data reports on the website. The website will continue to maintain information about COVID-19 vaccination, monoclonal antibodies and public health guidance documents.

“Folks, we are in a phase now with vaccines, with therapies, with abundant access to testing and with all the information we know about this disease, we can hopefully now take individual responsibility in a different way and enable people to have more flexibility in how they live their lives, while still supporting vulnerable individuals,” said Dr. Stack. “We’re also now in a stage where weekly reporting becomes much more sustainable and reliable in some ways, because the data sets are larger over time.”

The state says 2,887,805 people in Kentucky have received at least one vaccine dose and 1,085,434 has received their booster.

Gov. Beshear says Kentuckians should resist feeling pressure to take off masks if they think it’s best for them to keep wearing them in public.  As the virus’s prevalence wanes, Beshear says Kentucky is moving toward “personal empowerment,” with people making their own health decisions as tools to combat the virus have grown. The governor says that includes deciding whether to continue masking up in public.

The Governor added during his Monday afternoon briefing that every home in the country is now able to order four additional free at-home COVID-19 tests. The rapid antigen at-home tests can be taken anywhere and provide results within 30 minutes. The tests will be sent through the U.S. Postal Service, and Kentuckians can order them by visiting covidtests.gov.

Gov. Beshear says the Kentucky National Guard mission at hospitals and food pantries across the state will end March 15, 2022.  Currently, there are 388 guard members deployed for the mission.

Gov. Beshear also announced Kentucky’s annual unemployment rate for 2021 was 4.7% according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The rate is lower than the national rate and is a decrease from 6.4% in 2020. To see the full release, click here.

Gov. Beshear says the Capitol dome and Governor’s Mansion will continue to light up blue and yellow in honor of Ukraine and he invited Kentuckians to light their homes as well. The Governor again emphasized that Americans should be united during this difficult time, adding that history shows people must sacrifice to stop a dictator.

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