Gov. Beshear warns of COVID-19 case 'escalation' as Lexington numbers trend up

COVID-19 coronavirus hospital nurse
Posted at 5:12 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 18:20:18-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Monday, Governor Beshear warned that recent COVID-19 reports show the highest number of new cases in more than two months.

That day's report included more than 1,000 new cases and more than 60 deaths of COVID-positive Kentuckians.

The pandemic continues even while vaccines remain widely available.

"We know that the more people we can get vaccinated, the safer we are going to be," said Brooke Hudspeth, Chief Practice Officer for the UK College of Pharmacy.

"Because it clearly helps lessen the severity of the disease," said Dr. Dan Goulson, Chief Medical Officer for CHI Saint Joseph Health.

The good news is that more than 2.6 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The bad news is that millions of others remain without a shot, numbers that impact even higher-vaccinated counties.

"We know, you know, that there are people that travel amongst counties. They may work in one county and live in another. And so we know that we are interconnected," said Hudspeth.

According to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, the latest seven-day rolling average of new cases in Lexington has gone up from 67 per day two weeks ago, to 117.

And as we've seen during prior surges, an increase in cases usually leads to an increase in hospitalizations.

"One of the particular tools that I refer to, it predicted about a 50% increase from mid-November until now in the number of hospitalizations, that then would trickle back down after mid to late-December," said Dr. Goulson.

That's the hope for health officials. But Dr. Goulson warns we still don't know what the omicron variant could do. As of right now, the variant is undetected in Kentucky.

"Which makes it a little too early to tell what kind of impact that's going to have in terms of patients who get sick enough that need to be hospitalized," said Dr. Goulson.