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Kentucky COVID-19 Cases Continue Gradual Decline While Total Deaths Near 4,000

Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Deanna Ashby received a vaccine earlier this month.
Hopkins County Schools
Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Deanna Ashby received a vaccine earlier this month.

New COVID-19 cases in Kentucky have continued to decrease compared to recent weeks. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,592 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The state’s positivity rate is 8.5%, continuing a recent downward trend.

Despite the decrease in new cases, Beshear reported 51 new deaths. Since the onset of the pandemic, 3,863 people have died from the virus in the commonwealth. 

Kentucky has vaccinated more than 385,000 people, and Beshear said the state is on track to vaccinate teachers faster than any other state. That could lead to more in-person learning, but Beshear said schools must have a virtual learning option as well.

“We have immunocompromised students, we have immunocompromised parents. We have to have that virtual option that doesn’t harm a student’s academic standing so that there is real choice,” Beshear said.

Kentucky hospitals are at 64% capacity and 1,340 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Since Jan. 20 the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state’s corrections facilities has decreased by nearly 2,000. Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown reported 270 active cases of the virus among inmates and staff on Wednesday. Brown said that prisons also saw an increase in cases after the holidays.

“Even though we saw that enormous spike, the efforts we’ve taken by being able to get to these folks quickly and administer care we’ve been able to see a dramatic recovery rate,” Brown said.

Elsewhere around the region, Ohio has administered 908,096 of the first doses of COVID vaccines and has completed a total of 217,058 vaccinations. The state reported 3,991 new cases since Tuesday and 94 new deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 11,430.

West Virginia has administered 196,726 first doses of the vaccine and a total of 73,524 people have been fully vaccinated. Since Tuesday, the state has reported 535 new casesof the virus and 27 deaths — 2,058 people have died from the virus in West Virginia.

The Ohio Valley ReSource has improved its COVID Data Tracker to add more information about cases, hospital capacity, and deaths at the county level.  

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