Kentucky’s COVID-19 test positivity rate fell to single digits for the first time in nearly two months on Friday, but the virus continues to take a heavy toll on the state.
Governor Andy Beshear reported 4,118 new cases of the coronavirus and 34 other virus-related deaths, bringing the death toll statewide from the virus to more than 8,800. The latest reported deaths included two elderly Kentuckians barely 36 years old, the governor said. Younger people have been hit hard by the fast-spreading delta variant.
But in a sign of hope after a prolonged wave of the virus, the rate of Kentuckians testing positive for COVID-19 has dropped to 9.67% – the first time below 10% since August 3, said Beshear.
The state has reported 1,900 patients with the virus hospitalized in Kentucky, including 553 in intensive care units. Both totals were down from the previous day, continuing a recent downtrend that the Democratic governor pointed out on Thursday while warning that hospitalizations remained far too high.
“If we were to go back a month and a half back, where we are now would rightly scare us. So let’s ensure that this decline continues, ”he said Thursday.
Meanwhile, Kentuckians can now access the state’s COVID-19 website to help them find healthcare facilities that provide monoclonal antibody treatment.
Supplies of the therapy are limited due to strong demand nationwide, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr Steven Stack said Thursday. For people infected with COVID-19, treatment can help boost their immune systems, thereby helping to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization, he said.
“Based on the available inventory, we respond as fully as possible to each request,” Stack said. “During the past two weeks, we have not been able to meet 100% of the doses requested. But we were able to get closer.
Kentucky received about 6,100 antibody treatments this week, about 800 fewer than last week, Stack said. The number of weekly COVID-19 cases and virus-infected patients hospitalized is part of the calculation to determine the amount of antibody treatment the federal government allocates to each state.
“Obviously, the hope is that as the disease decreases, we will need it less and everyone who needs it will have access,” Stack said. “It’s hope. At the moment, this is not the reality, but I hope we are not that far.
The website is kycovid19.ky.gov.