Beshear announces 723 new COVID-19 cases, urges Kentuckians to stay home

Governor Andy Beshear provided an update on the state’s response to the winter storm in a briefing Monday and announced 723 new cases of COVID-19.

“We are in the midst of a significant winter storm where parts of Kentucky are getting or going to get significant snow, sleet and freezing rain, or an ice storm,” Beshear said.

Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to resist travel as Transportation Cabinet crews work on clearing precipitation off roads. Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said travel will be nearly impossible as the winter storm moves across the state.

“If you don’t have to drive, do not drive,” Gray said. “These roads are extremely hazardous and dangerous.”

Beshear announced nine new COVID-19 deaths. Kentucky’s weekly total of COVID-19 cases has decreased in the past five weeks.

“This is the type of decrease that we want to see and we want to keep it going,” Beshear said. “If we keep it going, we could look at easing some capacity restrictions.”

Kentucky’s COVID-19 positivity rate has consistently decreased in the past five weeks, Beshear said. After reaching a peak of 12.45%, the state’s positivity rate has decreased by about 6%.

66,531 people in Kentucky received the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time last week, Beshear said. Child care workers are now a part of Phase 1b in the vaccination distribution plan.

“We have the facilities, the providers and the efficiencies in place to vaccinate a lot more people, Beshear said. “Our only limitation is supply, supply and supply and every now and then, a little impact because of weather.”

Leo Bertucci can be reached at [email protected]  Follow him on Twitter @leober2chee.