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Beshear: Kentucky COVID-19 case growth slowing amid pandemic restrictions

'We may even be plateauing our cases'
Andy Beshear
Posted at 6:07 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 20:02:55-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky has seen “promising trends” in COVID-19 case growth after restrictions on indoor dining and capacity limits for venues and gyms went into effect nearly three weeks ago, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday.

After six straight days of decline, Kentucky’s COVID-19 test positivity rate dipped again to 9.23%. Kentucky's fatality rate, the proportion of people who die out of people who test positive for the virus, is down to 1.02% from 1.28% this time last month.

The governor also announced 3,481 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, adding to the total 209,136 COVID-19 cases reported since the start of the pandemic. He also reported 16 new virus-related deaths. So far, 2,118 Kentuckians have died of coronavirus.

While these numbers are "still far too high," Beshear thanked Kentuckians for the "ongoing sacrifices" they have made to curb the spread of the virus. The pandemic restrictions, which went into effect on Nov. 20, are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 13.

MORE: Beshear doesn't expect to extend restrictions on restaurants, venues

“Given that we were experiencing exponential growth before we took those difficult steps, this is evidence that we may not just be slowing down that growth, we may even be plateauing our cases,” Beshear said in a release Wednesday. “You have to slow down the train before you stop it, and you have to stop it before you turn it around."

Hospitalizations remained high Wednesday, with 1,760 Kentuckians currently hospitalized for COVID-19, 416 people in intensive care units and 207 on ventilators. Beshear said Tuesday that inpatient and ICU bed capacity has become a concern, specifically in Northern Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Southern Kentucky counties.

Beshear also announced that Kentucky expects to receive five shipments of COVID-19 vaccines this month to be distributed to residents and staff in long-term care facilities as well as frontline healthcare workers. The first of these shipments is expected to arrive the week of Dec. 13.

More COVID-19 numbers

Kentucky has administered 3 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began, and more than 30,540 people have reportedly recovered from coronavirus.

All but four Kentucky counties have moved into the "red" on the state's COVID-19 incidence rate map, which indicates "critical" spread in those areas of 25 or more cases per 100,000 people.

Using the state's contact tracing database, NKY Health reports 3,217 active coronavirus cases in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, with 13,786 people who have recovered from the virus on Wednesday. Since the pandemic began, 128 Northern Kentuckians have died from the virus.

Where to get tested for free in NKY

In Northern Kentucky, 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.