Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and his wife in front of the First United Methodist Church in Frankfort on Monday, December 7.
Monday’s numbers for positive COVID-19 cases in Kentucky are lower than the previous two Mondays. Governor Andy Beshear shared that the rate of case growth over the past three weeks is declining. He said that this is a good sign that the restrictions for the state to slow the spread of infection is working. There's still some concern over the gatherings and travel that happened over Thanksgiving break.
What does this mean for Kentucky residents and the current restrictions due to widespread positive COVID-19 cases?
The executive order in place still limits social gatherings to eight people with no more than two families intermingling. If people follow the guidelines, the effect could be a positive one.
The Governor doesn’t see extending the latest executive order regarding restaurant indoor dining and gyms/venues limited capacities. The order expires on December 13 at midnight.
Schools are to continue with virtual instruction until after the holidays. There’s a caveat to the in-person instruction for those schools that want to meet in smaller groups to advise, tutor, help students catch up on assignments. Schools that need to bring smaller groups in one at a time for in-person teaching assistance may do so at 15% capacity according to KDE (Kentucky Department of Education) guidelines.
Once the FDA advisory panel has approved the COVID-19 vaccines for emergency authorization, the Governor expects shipments of the Pfizer vaccines to arrive in Kentucky December 13-19. There will be 38,025 doses which will go to front-line healthcare workers delivered directly to the hospitals and long-term care facilities which will be managed by two pharmacy chains.
After the approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, shipments would begin later in December. The FDA advisory panel is expected to review Phase 3 clinical data on December 17. Kentucky will receive 76,700 doses of the vaccine first go-around. Expectations are the week of December 20-26. The second allocation from Moderna would be received the last week of December, according to Governor Beshear.
On Monday, there were just under 2,000 reported positive cases of COVID-19, 1,700 hospitalizations, 410 ICU, 210 on ventilators, and 10 deaths.
Kentucky has reported 202,592 COVID-19 cases and 2,082 deaths since the pandemic first appeared in our state. Earlier Monday, a memorial was held. The memorial service began with a solo performance of “How Great Thou Art”, a prayer, and a speaker sharing the recent loss of his brother to COVID-19.
“My brother Rob loved his Reds. They could be 0 and 60 and he still would be cheering on the Reds. That’s why we’re wearing a Reds facemask today. Rob believed that Covid wouldn’t come to Carter County. He didn’t believe it was necessary to wear a mask. Sunday, in early august, I got contacted by my brother Rob. He was being taken by ambulance to King’s Daughters in Ashland. They gave him excellent care. After his symptoms got worse, he got transferred to UK hospital. They would prepare him for getting on a ventilator. I said goodbye to my brother while driving on I-64 in my car as he was being transported by ambulance.” said Chris Perry.
Perry then turned to Governor Beshear and said, "We know you’re doing the best for the commonwealth. Those that don’t support you, haven’t lost someone to Covid.”
Rob Perry was 56 years old when he died of COVID-19. He was a godly man but didn’t believe in wearing a mask. He had comorbidities like COPD and diabetes meaning he was immunocompromised. Just before he died, he asked the Lord if he should live, he would wear a mask every time he was in public. Unfortunately, he didn’t get that opportunity.
The Governor also spoke during the memorial service. He said “Covid-19 has been the challenge, maybe the war of our time. We’ve fought back.” He said we acted in July when the southern states took on a second wave. He said it’s the third great battle that we must win. He continued, “It has been painful. But it is necessary. Action is Painful. Inaction is deadly.”
“We mourn each special individual taken from us. Pray for healing. We’ve lost loved ones that died lonely circumstances. Recommit to protecting our fellow human beings during our final months of this battle.” concluded Governor Beshear.