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Beshear reports seven straight weeks of COVID-19 declines, announces halt to weekly virus briefings

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says every COVID-19 metric is moving in the right direction, signaling a new phase in the two-year-long pandemic.

During a briefing on Monday, Beshear reported 9,532 new cases of the virus over the past week, as well as 283 deaths for the week ending Mar. 13.

Those numbers represented the 7th straight week of declines.

“Let’s remember, we were removing to a better place when Delta was receding and then Omicron hit, so we have to be humble that we’re not through, finally through, the pandemic yet, but we hope we’re well on our way.”

The positivity rate, which Beshear said is the leading indicator of decline, is down to 4.17%.

The governor added that nearly every metric is below levels seen at the end of the Delta variant surge last summer, but urged Kentuckians not to become complacent and said vaccinations remain key to ultimately defeating COVID-19.

Beshear noted the vaccination rate is the one metric going in the wrong direction where still just 65% of the state’s total population is immunized against the virus.

Following Monday's briefing, Governor Beshear is going to "pause" the COVID-19
updates he’s held regularly every Monday since the pandemic began.

The state has also switched from daily to weekly reporting of cases. Those weekly numbers are now being posted on the state’s COVID-19 website
every Monday afternoon.

The governor warned that in the absence of new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding or other legislative appropriations, several programs that have helped Kentuckians during the pandemic are anticipated to end beginning July 1.

Those include the COVID-19 test-to-stay program for K-12 schools and state-supported COVID-19 testing in Kentucky’s long-term care facilities.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.