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Beshear: Omicron causing COVID test positivity rate to soar

Racial Injustice Breonna Taylor
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 17:51:40-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky reported nearly 30,000 new COVID-19 cases last week, more than twice the prior week’s total as omicron causes record numbers of residents to test positive for the virus, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

The statewide test positivity rate has soared to 20.7%, the governor said.

“Omicron has not only come to the commonwealth, it has hit us harder in terms of escalation of cases than anything we have seen to date,” Beshear said at a news conference.

Statewide virus cases are likely to continue escalating, since some reports haven’t yet come in due to the long holiday weekend, he said.

“We went from being in a relative plateau to the second highest week of reported cases since the start of the pandemic, surpassed only by the week of Aug. 30 when the delta variant was hitting us at its peak,” Beshear said.

The governor stressed the need for people to self-isolate once they’re infected to prevent a more dramatic spread of the virus.

“If you have omicron and you don’t isolate, you will infect a ton of people,” he said. “And yes, it appears to be less severe, though with the number of cases, you’re going to see hospitalizations and the rest are going up.”