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Kentucky health officials closely watching increase in COVID-19 case numbers, positivity rate

Dr. Steven Stack said the COVID-19 vaccine is still "wildly protective" against the virus and will be key in keeping case numbers low.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Governor Beshear said more than 180,000 people in Kentucky have registered for the Shot At A Million lottery and scholarship drawing since the first round of winners were announced last week. Plus, more than 18,000 Kentuckians have gotten their first dose of the vaccine since then.

The hope is that vaccine rates can hold and even increase in the weeks ahead because it looks like the state might be losing ground slightly in the fight against the virus.

For the first time in about two months, Kentucky is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The state's positivity rate is also on the rise.

Health officials say that keeping vaccinations going is important because there are some variables that could threaten all of the good trends the state has seen with the virus over the past couple of months.

RELATED: Delta variant has become dominant strain of COVID-19 in Indiana

"The positivity rate is going up and the cases are going up," said Kentucky Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack. "Now the real question will be, will the vaccines help to keep those at lower levels and...will it keep people safe from serious, permanent harm or death? All of the evidence we have so far show these vaccines are wildly protective and very helpful."

COVID-19 vaccination and case data show that an individual's protection against the virus grows as more people get vaccinated because the virus has fewer bodies to multiply in.

There is still time to register for the next Shot at a Million drawing in Kentucky. The next deadlines are July 28 and Aug. 25. For more information on the 'Shot at a Million' drawings, click here.

Contact reporter Rob Harris atrjharris@whas11.com. Follow him onTwitter (@robharristv) andFacebook

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