Gov. Beshear reports 819 new COVID-19 cases

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 2:50 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear gave the latest update on COVID-19.

Gov. Beshear reported 819 new COVID-19 cases, 24 COVID-19 deaths and a positivity rate of 3.87%. To see a list of those reported lost to the virus Tuesday, click here.

“This week, while we are so hopeful, this virus is still out there and it is still dangerous. Please continue to wear your mask and social distance – even if you’ve been vaccinated, you have a duty to everybody else who is still waiting for their vaccine,” said Gov. Beshear. “Remember, by May 31, we believe every Kentucky adult who wants a vaccine will have gotten at least their first shot of hope. We believe that we will beat the president’s goal to open appointments up to everybody 16 and up by May 1.”

The Governor also said 11 Kentuckians have recently returned from countries currently experiencing an Ebola outbreak (Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Local health departments contact travelers, assess exposure risk, educate those travelers about what to do if they have symptoms and quarantine those at high risk for 21 days. None of the 11 people has been deemed high-risk for exposure.

“We are working with our hospitals to make sure they are ready to handle any suspect patients for 12 to 24 hours,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have six Ebola Assessment Hospitals that are working with us to make sure they are prepared to handle potential patients and assessments for Ebola.”

Kentucky COVID Facts 3-16-2021
Kentucky COVID Facts 3-16-2021(WBKO)

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said his team is responding to a COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility where 41 people have tested positive for the virus.

“This situation is still unfolding, but I’m sharing this particular example today because there are some important lessons to take from it,” said Dr. Stack. “At this facility, 85% of residents and 48% of the health care workers have been vaccinated. It appears that an unvaccinated person introduced the virus into the facility. When it is your turn to get vaccinated, please do so. This is the best chance we have to keep our loved ones and ourselves safe from this terrible disease that has upended our lives. Vaccinations will also help us minimize the creation of new COVID-19 variants from mutations, which could cause us further harm in the future.”

Of the 41 infected people, only 30% of the vaccinated individuals have been symptomatic but 83% of the unvaccinated people have been symptomatic. Vaccination appears to have markedly reduced symptomatic disease.

Additionally, five of the residents have been admitted to the hospital. Of these, four hospitalized residents were unvaccinated and one hospitalized resident had been vaccinated. Here, too, vaccination appears to have markedly reduced the risk of hospitalization.

Watch below.

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