Local News

Gov. Andy Beshear was optimistic about Kentucky’s COVID-19 positivity rate Wednesday, despite another high daily case total.

The governor reported 3,433 new cases. Kentucky’s daily COVID-19 case total didn’t reach 3,000 until November, eight months into the pandemic. But over the past several weeks, days with 3,000 or more cases have been happening regularly.

Beshear said in a statement the state’s positivity rate is improving and has been below 12% for five days in a row.

“While there is still so much pain and darkness in our commonwealth due to this pandemic, we are beginning to see the light ahead of us,” Beshear wrote. “This plateauing positivity rate is great news for Kentucky, especially as we continue to bring more of these live-saving vaccines to our people each week.”

The death toll approached a record high Wednesday, with 49 new deaths reported. More than 3,200 Kentuckians have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Nearly 1,700 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 399 are in the ICU and 205 are on ventilators.

Beshear also congratulated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inaugurations earlier in the day.

“I look forward to working with your administration to better the lives of our people and to help us overcome the challenges of COVID-19,” Beshear wrote. “Together we can make a better country – a better Kentucky – for all.”

Beshear asked the federal government this week to double the number of vaccine doses sent to the state, a request that will be handled by the Biden administration.

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.