Beshear reports lowest rates since September amid new CDC guidance



Gray Greenwell

Just hours after the Centers for Disease Control published much-awaited guidance on safe activities for vaccinated people, the governor’s team shared that guidance in the daily briefing for Team Kentucky.

Dr. Steven Stack, medical commissioner for Kentucky, joined the Monday, March 8, briefing to speak about the new guidelines.

“When you are out in public, vaccinated or not, the CDC is asking that you continue to wear your masks and social distance,” said Stack.

The CDC that those who are fully vaccinated can visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks, but should still avoid medium or large gatherings.

Stack also shared that Kentucky has confirmed more cases of the UK variant of COVID-19, including a case in Kentucky.

Kentuckians can stay ahead of these new variants by continuing to wear masks, remain socially distanced and get vaccinated as soon as possible, Stack said.

These updates came on the heels of good news – Gov. Andy Beshear reported that this is the eighth consecutive week of declining COVID-19 rates in Kentucky.

Reported COVID-19 cases are now as low as numbers were in September, Beshear said. The positivity rate is now 4.12%, the lowest since October, and nearly all counties are out of the red zone. 

“This is the exact type of trajectory we want to see as we are vaccinating people,” said Beshear. “Some states have plateaued; we don’t want to see that. We want to see continuous decline.”

Beshear reported 331 new cases of COVID-19 , the lowest reported number since Sept. 14. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is 531, with 162 patients in the ICU and 82 on a ventilator. Hospital capacity is “in good shape”  Beshear said, with declining ICU and ventilator occupation. Beshear reported an additional 10 new COVID-19-related deaths today.

Vaccinations are trending upwards. Beshear reported that a quarter of Kentucky’s adult population has now been vaccinated, including an additional 113,811 new individuals.

“That’s something we should all be very thankful and grateful for, while at the same time working to make sure each and every one of you get that shot of hope as soon as possible.”

Kentucky has not received any new deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but will expect an uptick in quantities of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines throughout the month of March.

Beshear also continued to advise against hesitancy towards getting vaccinated.

“We want everybody to get vaccinated…We all want to move beyond this,” Beshear said. 

Beshear concluded Monday’s media briefing by commending Kentucky’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and encouraging the state to continue these efforts.

“What we’re seeing in the numbers means you are doing the right things to protect people around you…It means we’re trying to carry everybody to the finish line to defeat this virus.”

March 8 was also the one year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case arising in a Lexington resident. The city has since recorded 32,600 cases and 237 deaths from COVID-19.