Deadly weekend: COVID-19 death toll rose by 88 as more Kentuckians die over weekend

Published 5:47 pm Monday, September 20, 2021

The death toll from the coronavirus increased by another 88 Kentuckians from Saturday to Monday, including several patients who were in their 20s and 30s, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

The governor reported more than 8,500 new COVID-19 cases during the three days.

Most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths since March 1 have been among people unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Bluegrass State reached another vaccination milestone, with 70% of Kentuckians eligible to receive the COVID-19 shots having received at least one dose of the vaccine, the governor said.

“With everything we’re going through right now, we’re focused on not enough people being vaccinated,” he said. “And that’s the power of this delta variant. Getting 70% of a commonwealth vaccinated against a brand new virus is a big feat. And it’s taken a whole lot of work.”

Beshear quickly added: “What we’ve learned with the delta variant is, this is not enough.”

Fewer than half of Kentuckians ages 12 to 17 have received at least a first COVID-19 shot, according to the state. Half of the state’s population ages 18 to 29 have received at least a first dose.

Meanwhile, critical staffing shortages were reported at 63 of the state’s 96 hospitals on Monday, Beshear said. That was an improvement from Saturday, when 74 hospitals had such severe staffing situations — the worst of the pandemic.