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Beshear Urges COVID Safety As He Awaits Clear Data After Holidays

Illustration by Alexandra Kanik

In his Tuesday briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reiterated the importance of following COVID-19 protocols to stop the spread of the virus.

“In L.A. County, they have so much COVID that ambulances are no longer doing runs for those in the worst shape,” he said. “I mean we’re at war, and either, you know, you do your patriotic duty and you support this country or you don’t.”

Gov. Beshear said the holidays have delayed some COVID-19 lab reports, making it unclear whether the state will see a post-holiday surge in cases. He announced 1,781 new positive cases Tuesday, which is much lower than past Tuesday reports. However, the state’s rate of positivity remains high at 11.4%, more than 1,700 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized and 23 new deaths were announced Tuesday.

Kentucky has administered more than 66,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Beshear said Walgreens expects to finish its first round of vaccinations at long term care facilities by the end of this week. The pharmacy will still need to administer booster shots.

Beshear also stressed the importance of cooperating with public health workers.

“Not a lot of people, but I think that small group of people who are being so reckless with other people's lives are going to be really ashamed in a year or two as we look back on this.”

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced pharmacy vaccine providers have visited 61% of the state’s nursing homes, however, not all staff are choosing to get the shots.

“Of those locations, only approximately 40% of staff members have chosen to receive the vaccination. Of nursing home residents, approximately 75 to 80% of residents have decided to receive the vaccine,” DeWine said in a statement.

The state reported 7,580 new cases and 104 deaths on Tuesday. More than 9,200 people have died from COVID-19.

West Virginia continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases with 1,276 new positives on Tuesday. The state also reported 46 new deaths.

Jeff Young is managing editor of the Ohio Valley ReSource, a journalism collaboration led by Louisville Public Media.

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