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Beshear not ruling out more COVID-19 mandates, says most new cases are unvaccinated people

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 12:24 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear held another Team Kentucky Update.

Gov. Beshear says he will provide weekly updates on various issues on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m.:

In this week’s press conference, Gov. Beshear warned of the dangers of the delta variant. The Governor says he’s watching hospitalizations increase, noting it’s mostly for the unvaccinated.

As Kentucky’s covid case count ticks up, Gov. Beshear says he isn’t ruling out more mandates.

Right now, there’s no mask mandate in place, but the governor says he’s relying on science to determine if he’ll order another one.

“We’re not going to be afraid to make the tough decision if it’s merited,” Gov. Beshear said. “But it is important to note and explain if we have to, that our world’s entirely different post-December 15 when we got the first vaccines.”

Data shows the majority of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are from unvaccinated Kentuckians.

“Let’s be clear about the delta variant: it’s the most aggressive form of Covid that we have seen,” Gov. Beshear said. “If you are unvaccinated, it’s the deadliest form of Covid that we’ve seen.”

As the state’s positivity rate ticks closer to 7 percent, state officials are asking for red counties especially to be cautious.

“We have to go on with our lives but we have to remember we’re in the middle of a pandemic and our actions have a major impact,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

Recommendations include masking up, gathering outdoors and postponing large events.

Gov. Beshear says he’s ‘sounding the alarm’ for young people, too.

“You are a younger Kentuckian and the delta virus is causing worse results, more intubations, and will ultimately cause more deaths,” the governor said.

Gov. Beshear says he has the legal authority to institute restrictions again but, this time around, he says that could look different.

“I do not believe in the long run that this is going to stop our economic resurgence,” Gov. Beshear said. “It may change who gets to participate in it because if you get sick and you stay sick for a long time when really goods jobs are being created, you may miss out on your opportunity to grab one of them.”

The governor says he expects to see another increase in cases next week.

Both Dr. Stack and Governor Beshear said the state’s hospitals are in good shape currently.

Beshear said he’s also focused on the nursing shortage.

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