Governor: Weekly COVID-19 cases decline in Kentucky

Published 5:47 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Kentucky posted a decline in new COVID-19 cases last week, offering an early sign that the state’s worst surge of the pandemic could be cresting, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

Statewide coronavirus cases totaled 74,376 last week, compared with 81,473 the prior week, Beshear said, ending a string of weekly increases fueled by the fast-spreading omicron variant.

“What we hope we are seeing is a cresting and hopefully the beginning of the downward slope in omicron cases,” the governor said at a news conference.

But he offered a cautionary update, noting that virus-related hospitalizations are “incredibly close” to the highest statewide level of the pandemic — reflecting the recent escalation of cases. And the state’s virus-related death toll continues to mount and could surpass 13,000 this week, he said.

“Last week was still the second-highest amount of cases that we’ve ever had,” Beshear said. “But the trajectory is a good sign. And provided we continue to see declines this week, we would expect even greater ones next week. But we’re not out of the woods.”

Kentucky’s test positivity rate, which had surpassed 33%, was down to 28.49% on Monday.

More than 2,400 virus patients are hospitalized in Kentucky, including 454 patients in intensive care units and 232 on ventilators, the state reported.