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Beshear calls Kentucky's falling COVID-19 positivity rate a sign of progress

Andy Beshear
Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 17:41:13-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky's COVID-19 positivity rate has dipped below 9% for the first time in nearly a month, something he called a sign that Kentuckians’ sacrifices to curb the spread of the virus are paying off.

After falling for eight straight days, Kentucky's COVID-19 test positivity rate dropped to 8.86% on Friday, the lowest rate seen since Nov. 13.

“These numbers are still high and we are still watching for any increases related to the Thanksgiving holiday, but we are making progress in our fight against this invisible enemy,” Beshear said in a release Friday. “I hope this gives everyone the courage and grit to keep going, to keep doing what we know is right, things like wearing a mask and staying socially distant, because we know they are working.”

The governor announced 3,691 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Since the start of the pandemic, 217,120 COVID-19 cases have been reported statewide. He also reported 22 COVID-19 deaths, adding to the total 2,168 virus deaths reported since March.

Kentucky's fatality rate, the proportion of people who die out of people who test positive for the virus, is down to 1.01% from 1.26% this time last month.

Hospitalizations remained high Friday, with 1,717 Kentuckians currently hospitalized for COVID-19, 432 people in intensive care units and 231 on ventilators. Beshear said Tuesday that inpatient and ICU bed capacity has become a concern, especially in Northern Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Southern Kentucky counties.

Using the state's contact tracing database, NKY Health reports 3,312 active coronavirus cases in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, with 14,518 people who have recovered from the virus on Friday. Since the pandemic began, 128 Northern Kentuckians have died from the virus.

Restrictions on indoor dining and capacity limits for venues, gyms and other Kentucky businesses will be allowed to expire on Monday, Beshear announced at his Thursday COVID-19 briefing. Read more about the return to previous capacity limits here.

Kentucky also expects to receive five shipments of COVID-19 vaccines this month, and it will distribute them to residents and staff in long-term care facilities as well as frontline healthcare workers. Educators and school staff will be third in line to receive vaccines, and plans to distribute doses to those individuals are forthcoming.

The first vaccine shipment is expected to arrive next week, and Kentucky may administer the first vaccine here as early as Wednesday.

Where to get tested for free in NKY

St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Covington's Gravity Diagnostics offer free, appointment-only drive-thru testing at 25 Atlantic Ave in Erlanger, the former Toyota HQ building off Mineola Pike.

The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You will be able to collect your own sample without leaving your vehicle and receive results within three to five days.

Additionally, appointment-only drive-up testing is available through St. E at 7200 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria. The free testing site is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Schedule an appointment at those sites online at www.stelizabeth.com/covid-testing. To find all coronavirus testing locations near you, click here.