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Cases Decline in Kentucky but Hospitalizations and Positivity Rate Remain High

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Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky acknowledged that the positivity rate remained high but said that it was much lower than in January, when the rate was well over 30 percent.

“We are absolutely headed to a much better place,” he said during a news briefing on Monday. “This says we’re in a real decline.”

Mr. Beshear said that he was “very excited” about where the state was heading, noting sharp declines in the number of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions. However, he mourned the state’s deaths, which now average 30 a day.

“We’re also having younger people continue to die,” Mr. Beshear said. “Almost entirely unvaccinated and preventable.”

Only 56 percent of Kentucky residents are fully vaccinated. West Virginia and North Dakota, which along with Kentucky have the country’s highest hospitalization numbers, also have vaccination rates well below the national average.

“When the number of coronavirus cases was rising in the state, so was the number of people getting vaccinated, Mr. Beshear said, with between 8,000 and 10,000 people were getting vaccinated on weekends.

However, this past weekend, the number of people who got their first vaccination fell to about 3,451, Mr. Beshear said. A little more than 4,000 people received their second dose and more than 5,900 received a booster, he said.

“We would like to see all of those numbers get better,” he said.

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