More vaccinations as more COVID-19 cases reported in Kentucky and Indiana

Coronavirus Watch

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Cases are on the rise in Kentucky as health officials watch for signs of the Omicron variant. But more vaccinations are also happening, just as long term care centers and schools keep an eye on case levels.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said more than 45,000 Kentuckians got their COVID-19 vaccine booster this past weekend, and more than 10,000 Kentuckians get their booster shot yesterday. That means 61% of Kentuckians are vaccinated.

“While we are proud, we have to remain unsatisfied, and continue to push, to slog, to continue to get people vaccinated and get people boosted,” said Gov. Beshear.

It happens as the positivity rate is more than 9% in the commonwealth as of Wednesday, and as the Omicron variant is found in other states. Governor Beshear says the Delta variant is still the main concern and responsible for most cases and COVID related deaths.

“We had a 16-year-old on our death report. We have 40-year-olds on our death reports every single day. That’s Delta. We know how deadly it is, and I believe that is where our focus should be until Omicron convinces us otherwise,” he said, during Thursday’s press conference.

Dr. Heidi Dunniway of Ascension St. Vincent says Delta is still prominent in southwest Indiana. She also says more patients have been getting vaccinated.

“I spend some time at our vaccine clinic yesterday afternoon, and I know that for adult boosters on a typical day, they are seeing the numbers double to triple versus what they saw a couple of weeks ago,” she recalled.

Long-term care centers are watching for signs of the new variant. Betsy Johnson of the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities/Kentucky Center for Assisted Living says more than 80% of nursing home residents are vaccinated statewide. She also doesn’t expect any restrictions similar to last year to be put back in place.

“I think that with the vaccine and the precautions that we take, there’s been a real good ability to deal with the new variant,” she says.

As for schools, officials in several tri-state school districts say there are currently no plans to make changes to their current masking policies.

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