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Gov. Andy Beshear announces new testing and vaccine program in state-run health care facilities

FILE - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in...
FILE - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Frankfort, Ky. Gov. Beshear on Thursday, June 24, 2021 dangled a $1,500 bonus meant to lure thousands of unemployed Kentuckians back to work, offering it as an alternative to an early cutoff of enhanced jobless benefits that Republicans and businesses blame for a workforce shortage. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP, Pool)(Ryan C. Hermens | AP)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Governor Beshear discussed the latest on the COVID-19 delta variant in Kentucky during his COVID-19 briefing.

Beshear also stated that Kentucky is leading by example with a new testing and vaccine program run at state-run health care facilities.

“We are back into a period of time where a whole lot of things are moving – in the public sector, at the federal level – and we are learning more about the delta variant,” said Gov. Beshear. “The delta variant is spreading like wildfire. This variant is spreading faster than anything we have seen. If you’re unvaccinated, you are at significant risk.”

Cabinet for Health and Family services secretary Eric Friedlander joined the Governor’s briefing today, explaining that universal masking will be required in all state-run health care facilities, including veterans nursing homes, effective on Tuesday, August 3.

“Despite all of our efforts, this virus has claimed lives in our facilities, just as it has in facilities across America, and it threatens to do so again,” said Secretary Friedlander. “Increasing the vaccination rate and/or testing rates for staff is a critical next step to ensure that we defeat this COVID variant and provide the best protection possible for the people who receive care in our facilities.”

In accordance with CDC guidance, Gov. Beshear also recommended school districts require universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with layered strategies in place to prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission.

“We want to get back to normal. Those who are not vaccinated are preventing us from getting back to normal,” said Gov. Beshear. “If you’re unvaccinated, your chances of being in the hospital are significantly higher than those who are vaccinated.”

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