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Ky. health leaders hopeful COVID-19 numbers start to trend downward

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:31 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There are some signs that the pandemic is starting to plateau in Kentucky.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Governor Andy Beshear noted the positivity rate and hospitalization statistics are down.

Lexington Emergency Physician Dr. Ryan Stanton believes Kentucky has reached its highest peak in the COVID pandemic.

“I think we should expect that from this point forward, we should start moving our way down,” Dr. Stanton said.

The positivity rate is down to 11.33% and hospital admissions have decreased. Stanton said the vaccination rate is about 20% away from where it should be, but he doesn’t think that we will have another spike this big, even with potential future mutations of the virus.

“Just because of the human exposures, whether it be through the vaccine or through the virus itself, it may protect us moving forwards,” Dr. Stanton said.

Stanton pointed out there are several positives that healthcare will emerge from this pandemic with, from the evolution of telehealth to vaccine tech.

“Vaccine technology has been catapulted to the point where we will have good functional vaccines against viruses and infections where we’ve never seen them before and we really needed them,” Dr. Stanton said.

Still, he emphasized that Kentuckians should exercise caution as winter arrives and brings flu, RSV, and other illness seasons with it.

“I just wouldn’t take a chance through the remainder of 2021. Just in high-risk situations wear your mask, social distance, wash surfaces, wash your hands, be careful, it’s still out there,” Dr. Stanton said.

Gov. Beshear said in his news conference he hoped cases are at least leveling off, but he cautioned that other states have seen rises after a plateau like this.

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