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Two years of COVID-19 pandemic: how we got here

A lot has happened since the first case of COVID was reported in the commonwealth, and now we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It’s one of those moments that many remember exactly where they were when the news of the COVID-19 pandemic broke. All glued to the screens of Governor Beshear’s press conference.

A lot has happened since and now we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as cases begin to fall.

Just two weeks after the first confirmed case in March of 2020, in-person dining and non-essential businesses closed or began limiting the number of people.

On March 17th 2020 , the University of Kentucky announced that the remainder of the spring semester would be done virtually. Other Universities around the state then made the same decision.

March 2021 officially hit the one-year mark. By this time, schools were starting to reopen and students returned to class with masks.

We also saw the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

So now, on the second anniversary where does Kentucky stand in the covid-19 pandemic?

As of Friday, there have been more than 1.2 million cases of COVID in Kentucky since the beginning of the Pandemic.

Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the COVID-19 positivity rate continues to decline, with a decrease marked each day during the past week.

“A lot of good news for our COVID-19 update today,” said Gov Beshear. “The top line today is that while we still have some struggles, things continue to move in the right direction, and they are continuing to move at a regular pace. Every metric is moving in the right direction.”

Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,894,264Number of people who have received their vaccination booster in Kentucky: 1,096,243

Today’s Positivity Rate: 4.17%

Current Hospitalizations: 470

Current Intensive Care Admittances: 95

Currently on Ventilators: 56

During the week ending March 13, 283 deaths were reported in Kentucky.

During the week ending March 13, there were 9,532 newly reported cases of COVID-19 and the seven-day test positivity rate was 4.17%. Cases and the positivity rate have decreased compared with the prior week, ending March 6, when there were 12,010 new cases and the average test positivity rate was 6.04%.

As Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack previously announced, the commonwealth has aligned with the weekly data reporting of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is expected to release data and a community-level map after the close of business every Thursday. On Fridays, KDPH will update the state map on kycovid19.ky.gov. On the following Monday, KDPH will post weekly data reports on the website. The website will continue to maintain information about COVID-19 vaccination, monoclonal antibodies and public health guidance documents.

The Governor is pausing the standing weekly COVID news conferences but said, as needed, he will continue to keep Kentuckians informed of the virus.

“We know so much more about the virus and how to fight it. In many ways, it has become a part of our daily lives,” said Gov Beshear. “If today is the last update we give, living with COVID is not ignoring COVID. It is having the information to be empowered to make the right decision and to protect ourselves.”

The Governor warned that in the absence of new ARPA funding or other legislative appropriations, several programs that have helped Kentuckians during the pandemic are anticipated to end.

Without more funding, beginning July 1, 2022:

  • The COVID-19 test-to-stay program for kindergarten through 12th grade will end; no program will be possible for the 2022-2023 academic year;
  • The Community Antibody Administration Center program – which was mandated during the 2021 legislative special session – will cease;
  • State-supported community-based COVID-19 testing provided throughout the commonwealth by Gravity Diagnostics and the University of Kentucky will cease;
  • State-supported COVID-19 testing in Kentucky’s long-term care facilities will cease or wind down as federal CDC funds available to support this activity run out; and
  • The ability to support the commonwealth’s 90-day PPE emergency supply and necessary warehouse storage space is uncertain, as a pre-paid lease is set to expire and will require renewal beginning July 1, 2023; an alternative funding source has not yet been identified to sustain this program.

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