FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentuckians need to be aware of rising cases of COVID-19.

“It’s not done with us,” he said. “We cannot be done with it.”

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky reported 2,841 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday

  • Gov. Beshear says cases are escalating after the rate of new cases remained relatively flat for several weeks this fall

  • 13% of Kentuckians have received a booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine

  • 60% of all Kentuckians, including 72% of adults, have gotten at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine

He said recent numbers are concerning, even though the Thanksgiving holiday kept the actual number of reported new cases down last week. The state reported 2,841 new cases on Thursday, along with a positivity rate of 9.2% and 40 new deaths.

“We are in an escalation again at the moment,” Beshear said. “We don’t know how long it would last. We don’t know if it’s behavior-driven. It could be driven by the holidays or the winter.”

Part of the reason Kentucky is seeing more cases, more hospitalizations, and a higher positivity rate lately, Beshear said, is because of waning vaccine immunity.

As of Thursday, 13% of Kentuckians have gotten a booster.

“If it’s been six months since you’ve been vaccinated, you are not nearly as protected as you were right after that,” he said. “Get the booster shot, and at least against delta, you’re in pretty good shape, and we know you’ll be in the best shape we can get you in for omicron as we learn more about it.”

60% of all Kentuckians, including 72% of all adults, have gotten at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 13% of Kentuckians have gotten a booster, although that number is among the highest in the country, Beshear said.

The omicron variant hasn’t yet been detected in Kentucky and there have only been a handful reported in the U.S.  

Stressing that people should not panic, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said it’s a matter of when, not if, it hits the commonwealth.

“It is important to be careful and concerned; It is not a time to panic,” he said. “We have much better tools now than we did when this pandemic started last year, but we should be careful and concerned because our future is not outside our control in the way we choose to act and behave in response to this current problem.”

Stack said there are still a lot of unknowns with omicron, but the good news is the advice to stay safe is the same as its always been: be careful how many people you’re in contact with, wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces and get vaccinated.