(WEHT)– On Thursday Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear updated the Commonwealth on several topics including economic development, infrastructure improvements, coronavirus, the Delta variant and COVID-19 vaccines.
Governor Beshear says there is another incentive, encouraging people to get vaccinated to help fight off the spread of COVID-19. Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry described the new the Vax and Visit Kentucky Vaccine Sweepstakes. This will entail weekly drawings for in state travel prizes ranging from golf rounds to overnight lodging at Kentucky State Parks. There will be 30 drawings and you can enter to win here.
As Governor Beshear gave a briefing about COVID-19 data, he said the state saw more new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday than in an entire week back at the end of June. This is when the weekly total was 1,135. Now Kentucky is seeing more than 13,900 cases per week and it’s on the rise.
COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Governor Beshear said this shows being unvaccinated is putting yourself at a bigger risk than it has during the pandemic. This is also one of the most dangerous times of the pandemic for children. Beshear made sure to recognize Dawson Springs Independent Schools as being one of the first school systems to mandate masks before his executive order. Governor Beshear’s executive order requires masks in all school buildings and daycare centers across the state.
Cindy Lucches from the U of L Health says they are seeing younger and healthier people get really sick. She said this includes kids younger than 12 years old who can’t get vaccinated yet. Lucchese said only about 50% of all eligible adults have been vaccinated which isn’t enough since the virus is not giving up, it’s mutating. She said the mass majority of their patients in the hospital have not been vaccinated.
Dr. Stacy Caudill from King’s Daughters Hospital said they are seeing the average age of admission decrease from 75-years-old to 55. Their COVID-19 ICU is full so they opened a fourth COVID-19 unit. Dr. Caudill said their positivity rate is 14% which is the second highest they have seen since the pandemic started.
St. Claire Healthcare is seeing the most rapid rise of hospitalizations. Hospital leaders say they are having to open a surge intensive care unit since their ICU is full.
Even with the current battle against COVID-19, Governor Beshear says the Bluegrass state is seeing a continued economic resurgence. This week Amazon announced the launch of their air hub operations in Boone County. This is a $1.5 billion investment bringing in 2,000 jobs. Amazon’s investment will mark Kentucky’s third major air hub. Longship recently had a ribbon cutting for their relocation and larger facility in Lexington. This will bring on 155 full-time jobs and is a $4.3 million investment.