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COVID-19: State Surpasses 9,000 Deaths; 83% of Deaths Among Unvaxxed Since March

COVID-19 cases in Kentucky continue decline along with the positivity rate, though the news about the virus remains grim.

There were 50 COVID-related deaths reported on Thursday in the state, bringing the commonwealth's total to 9,022 since the pandemic arrived here 18 months ago.

There were 245 newly confirmed positive cases in five Northern Kentucky counties, with 85 in Kenton, 70 in Boone, 41 in Campbell, 30 in Grant, and 19 in Pendleton.

The state recorded 2,625 new cases on Thursday, including 643 among people under the age of 18.

The state's positivity rate is 8.67%.

There are currently 1,578 people hospitalized with COVID, including 472 in intensive care units and 313 on ventilators.

Governor Andy Beshear said Thursday that declines in positive cases, positivity rate, ICU admittances and ventilator use are credited to increase vaccinations and more Kentuckians wearing masks indoors.

“Building on last week’s monumental economic development news, companies continue to invest in our state and create quality job opportunities,” Beshear said, referencing the announcement about Ford Motor Co.'s $6 billion investment, the largest in the state's history. “We know that our future is right now.”

Though the state is trending back in a better direction in the fight against COVID, Beshear noted that the more than 9,000 Kentuckians lost to the virus is more than the state has lost in any modern war.

“While we are all excited about the trends and where we’re going, let’s remember that we’re going to live with these scars and trauma and loss for a long time. Let’s make sure that we give ourselves space and do something about it. And the number-one thing we can do is get vaccinated,” said Beshear.

From March 1 to Oct. 6 of this year, 85.1% of COVID-19 cases, 91.2% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 82.8% of COVID-19 deaths have been among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated Kentuckians, Beshear said.

From March 2020 to May 2021, 74% of all COVID-19 deaths in the commonwealth were among those 70 and older; from June 1 to Oct. 6, 2021, only 47% of deaths were among those 70 and older.

“Even if you think you’re young enough to battle this thing off, if you are unvaccinated, you are in trouble,” said Beshear. “This thing is that deadly – please go out and get that shot. There’s a lot of protection if you are vaccinated.”

As of Thursday, 148 adult ICU beds are available in the commonwealth. There are 16 pediatric patients hospitalized due to COVID-19; six are in the ICU; and four are on a ventilator.

“As a dad, I know every time your kids are hurt, it’s a panic inside you,” said Beshear. “If people say, ‘It’s only four kids on a ventilator’ – no. It’s four. And that is far too many.”

-Staff report