Kentucky has surpassed 9,000 COVID-19 deaths as of today.
“That’s more than we’ve lost in any modern war, in any two of them put together,” said Gov. Andy Beshear at Thursday’s Team Kentucky press conference.
The highest concentration of deaths from coronavirus has been, overwhelmingly, in unvaccinated people since the vaccine became widely available.
Beshear said that 72% of eligible Kentuckians have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, but that is not enough to stop the delta variant.
He also touched on the number of children currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
“Sixteen kids, pediatric patients, hospitalized for COVID, six confirmed in the ICU and four pediatric patients currently on a ventilator,” Beshear said.
He urged people to get vaccines to protect themselves and others who may not have access to the vaccination.
Beshear said that there are enough supplies to begin giving the vaccine to that age group if it is approved.
Overall, COVID-19 rates in the state have begun to slow down; the positivity rate has been on a decline in recent days as has the number of people hospitalized and on ventilators.
Kentucky hospitals have endured strains on their staff. Now, some of the stress is being relieved.
“Now just 58 of 96 hospitals reporting critical staffing shortages,” said Beshear, “Remember that’s been in the high 60s, even close to 70 at one point.”