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A look back on COVID in the Commonwealth: Two years since the first COVID case in Kentucky

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Posted at 1:58 PM, Mar 06, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX18) — Today marks a major milestone for COVID-19 and the Commonwealth. Two years ago, on March 6th, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Harrison County. While we are starting a downward trend of numbers to a hopeful endemic; today we look back at the past two years of COVID-19 in Kentucky.

Just two weeks after the first confirmed case, in-person dining and non-essential businesses closed or began limiting the number of people. On March 17th, the University of Kentucky announced that the remainder of the spring semester would be done virtually. Others followed as people shifted to virtual work from Zoom meetings, FaceTime, and online classrooms and workspaces.

Around that time, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the first death in the Commonwealth, a 66-year-old man from Bourbon County. The end of March saw "out of state" travel restricted to slow the spread of the virus.

March 2021 officially hit the one-year mark since the first case in Kentucky. By this time, schools were starting to reopen and students returned to class dawing masks. We also saw the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The Commonwealth has just reported more than 410,000 cases, and less than 5,000 Kentuckians had died from the virus.

Gov. Beshear: Kentucky losing out on medical supplies to federal government amid COVID-19 pandemic
FILE - In this Friday, March 6, 2020, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, at podium, announces the state's first confirmed case of the new coronavirus at a news conference in Frankfort, Ky. Beshear recommended Thursday, March 12, 2020, that the state's schools close for at least two weeks to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)

Later that year, in June 2021, Kentucky lifted the indoor mask mandate. As the fall began, the Delta and Omicron Variants hit the Commonwealth.

Delta Variant cases started showing up around July. Omicron followed just a few months later, in December 2021. That is when we started to learn about breakthrough cases and new variants being able to cause infections in fully vaccinated people.

So now, on the second anniversary where does Kentucky stand in the COVID-19 Pandemic?

As of Friday, there have been more than 1.2 million cases of COVID in Kentucky. 2,076 new cases were reported before the start of the weekend. 14,018 Kentuckians have lost their lives to COVID-19, including 45 deaths announced on Friday. Currently, the positivity rate is at 6.49 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2021.