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'This is how we fight back' | Beshear says delta variant, waning immunity are leading to rise in COVID cases

The governor said omicron has not been officially detected in Kentucky, but is likely in the state.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky is being hit by an across-the-board escalation of COVID-19, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. 

During his briefing Monday, he said the upswing is driven by the delta variant, which remains the main adversary in the fight against the coronavirus. While the omicron variant is beginning to make headlines, Beshear said combating delta should remain the top priority.

As of Monday, the omicron variant had not been officially detected in Kentucky, but the governor said it is likely already in the state.

RELATED: LIST: Where have omicron cases been confirmed in the US?

Beshear said new coronavirus cases reported statewide during the weekend and on Monday totaled nearly 4,900 and the three-day death toll from the virus was 198. He also said virus-related hospitalizations are rising, along with admissions to intensive care units and ventilator use.

Meanwhile, the governor pointed to an upswing in COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots during the weekend.

"The great news is, we saw more vaccinations over this last weekend than we have seen in a long time, in every stage of the vaccination process," he said. "This is how we fight back against this virus."

As the holiday season approaches, Gov. Beshear is encouraging all Kentuckians to remain cautious as they celebrate with friends and family members. He stressed the importance of getting fully vaccinated as well as boosted and urged everyone who has not been vaccinated to still wear masks indoors.

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