Gov. Beshear holds press conference on spread of delta variant, issues new mask recommendations


FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – COVID-19 cases are up 76% week-to-week in Kentucky. Health officials believe the delta variant is fueling the spread, mostly among those unvaccinated.

Governor Andy Beshear held a briefing Monday afternoon on the variant and issued new mask recommendations.

The governor says roughly 2.4 million Kentuckians have been vaccinated, and explained those who have not gotten the injections are contributing to the spread of the delta variant. He said about 61% of Kentuckians have been vaccinated, with the highest vaccination rates among those 49 and older.

Gov. Beshear said the delta variant is showing higher rates of incidences in demographics and geographical areas where less than 50% of people are vaccinated. He has now put out a new list of recommendations.

“Vaccinated Kentuckians with jobs where you are exposed to a ton of people each day, if you work in hospitality, if you work in a restaurant, if you work in retail, and there are many more. I’m not picking on any industry. Just where the individuals come in contact with a lot of people, we are recommending at this point that you wear a mask,” Gov. Beshear said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said getting the vaccine is a personal choice, but if you choose not to get vaccinated, you are putting yourself and many others at risk.

The governor’s office also released Monday’s COVID-19 numbers. Governor Beshear reported 240 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the state total to 470,680 cases. The governor says the state is seeing a 5.48% positivity rate. Of Monday’s new cases, 56 are in kids 18 or younger.

There were four new COVID-19 related deaths reported on Monday, bringing the state total to 7,301.

As of Monday, 337 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons, 104 are in the ICU, and 38 are on ventilators.

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