Deaths in Kentucky, including many under the age of 50, are surging because of the rampaging delta variant of COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.
In his weekly update of the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky, Beshear said a total of 8,339 Kentuckians have died from the virus, with 88 occurring from Saturday to Monday.
It's very tragic, said the governor, stressing that the solution is vaccination. He said most of the deaths are among unvaccinated people. He also expressed optimism that more booster shots will be coming to help curb the number of so-called breakthrough infections.
Reuters reported Monday that U.S. regulators could authorize a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those 65 or older and some high-risk Americans early this week, in time for the government to roll them out by Friday.
Beshear said the state's positivity rate for COVID-19 has dipped to 12.18%, though he warned that number remains far too high.
He also said there was "some leveling off" of hospital patients with COVID-19 and those in intensive care, but he said it's too early to say if that is a trend.
Beshear said 77% — or 74 of 96 — hospitals in the state were experiencing critical staff shortages on Saturday, but that dropped to 63 hospitals Monday.(c)2021 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.