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'It should shock you': Kentucky sets record with 52,603 COVID cases in a week

According to Gov. Andy Beshear one in four people are testing positive and Kentucky's positivity rate is now 26.33%.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In an afternoon press conference Monday, Jan. 10 Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentucky on the latest coronavirus numbers and western Kentucky relief efforts.

Coronavirus in Kentucky

According to Beshear one in four people are testing positive and the positivity rate is now 26.33%.

Beshear said there were 52,603 cases last week. The previous record in Kentucky was 30,680 cases from the week of Sept. 5, 2021.

Over the weekend 11,985 cases and 53 deaths were reported. Jan. 10's report was 5,049 cases and 14 deaths during the press release.

"This one is a straight line up like nothing we've ever seen before, proving this is one of the most contagious viruses in the last 100 years, there's nothing, other than maybe measles," he said while referencing a graph of positive COVID cases.

Beshear said there has been a 17% increase in patients in hospitals over the last seven days "on a rolling average."

Beshear activated the National Guard to assist hospitals. He said 445 National Guard members will help 30 health care facilities.

"It should shock you," Beshear said. "If we don't take this seriously, people die. And not just people who contract COVID. People who have heart attacks, people who have strokes, people who are in car accidents because beds are taken up, taken up primarily by unvaccinated Kentuckians leaving no room for those that need other help."

RELATED: JCPS staff, students return to NTI amid COVID surge, virus-related staffing challenges

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for public health (KDPH), said schools with universal masking should follow these guidelines:

  • Isolate people who test positive for five days.
  • No contact tracing or quarantine needed.
  • Only quarantine people not-up-to-date with vaccination for at least five days if they were exposed at home, "unless participating in a test-to-stay modified quarantine."

Stack said schools without universal masking should do these steps:

  • Isolate people who test positive for five days.
  • Quarantine people not-up-to-date with their vaccines for at least five days whether they were exposed at home or school, "unless in a test-to-stay modified quarantine."

“Most importantly, universal masking is essential with omicron. If universal masking is not required in K-12 schools, omicron will spread rapidly and result in rapid and massive student and staff absences to due illness,” Stack said.

Beshear said 63% of Kentucky residents have received their first dose.

Western Kentucky updates

Beshear said national park housing has been extended an additional 30 days for those specifically displaced by the Dec. 10 and 11 tornadoes.

“We are going to make sure that we can make that transition to semi-permanent housing and do it the right way," he said.

President Joe Biden updated his earlier Kentucky Disaster Declaration by saying funds for debris removal and other emergency protective measures were increased to 100% of eligible costs. Kentucky can choose 30 consecutive days "within the first 120 days of the declaration" to have covered.

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