Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2021) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s highest-ever number of newly reported deaths, while also noting that the state’s positivity rate decreased.

“We still have too many cases, but it does appear we are seeing a decline from our highest week ever. Our positivity rate is down again. Far higher than we want, but this is a good trend,” said Gov. Beshear. “The hard part though about today’s report is it’s the most deaths we ever announced.”

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 3,728
New deaths today: 58
Positivity rate: 11.05%
Total deaths: 3,301
Currently hospitalized: 1,604
Currently in ICU: 395
Currently on ventilator: 209

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton, Boone, Hardin, Warren and Daviess. Each of these counties reported 125 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 604.

To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

The Governor noted Kentucky’s COVID-19 mortality rate (1%) is lower than the national (1.7%) and world (2.2%) averages.

“This I think is a testament to providing education to Kentuckians about this virus and about what to do if you contract it. And it’s a testament to our health care workers,” said Gov. Beshear. “You’ve done your commonwealth and your country proud.”

He also asked both Kentuckians and health care providers to be patient throughout the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

“Splitting vaccine shipments into really small quantities just wouldn’t make sense, and would slow us down,” said Gov. Beshear. “That’s why we’re distributing by region, by population. This is not a competition, this is about us trying to find the right partners for the right phase.”

The Governor also shared a remembrance of one Kentuckian lost to COVID-19.

“Today, we share the story of Peggy Lynn Davis from Ashland, Ky. She was only 67 years old when she passed away on Friday from COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear. “Peggy was loved by all, and her family saw that through the outpouring of wonderful stories about her after her death.

“Born and raised in Ashland, Peggy worked in health care and built her own successful business, even being recognized nationally. Despite this, Peggy always downplayed her professional accolades, saying her greatest accomplishments were her children.

“Now mourning Peggy’s loss are her husband, Robert Davis, their three sons, Bobby, JP and Wesley, and her three grandchildren.

“Her family said Peggy will be remembered as a selfless mother, not just to her family, but to everyone she cared for throughout her life. Today our thoughts and prayers are with Robert, Bobby, JP and Wesley.”

Tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST, Gov. Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman will honor Kentucky’s victims of COVID-19 in an outdoor ceremony. The memorial will include members of the Kentucky State Police Honor Guard as well as a performance by baritone Keith Dean of Frankfort.

The Governor, First Lady and Lieutenant Governor will also plant the final flags in a sea of more than 3,000 flags representing each Kentuckian lost to the virus.

Gov. Beshear to Co-Chair National Task Force on Economic Recovery and Revitalization
Gov. Beshear thanked the National Governors Association (NGA), which announced this week he will co-chair the association’s bipartisan Economic Recovery and Revitalization Task Force along with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. 

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be asked by the NGA to work on this crucially important issue,” the Governor said. “But the reason I said yes wasn’t because of any title; it’s because it meant that your concerns and Kentucky’s interests in rebuilding our economy, in building it better, in being a leader in the post-COVID world would be front and center.”

To learn more, see the full release.

Gov. Beshear Congratulates President Biden and Vice President Harris
“Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. My administration worked well with the last presidential administration and we look forward to working well with this one,” said Gov. Beshear. “I also want to express my appreciation that in the first full day that President Biden has been in office, he specifically addressed the coronavirus pandemic. One of the most important things that I heard was a push to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines. The supply is our primary issue we are facing right now, given how efficiently we are getting vaccines out.”

New Test Launched to Improve Broadband Access
Lt. Gov. Coleman announced today the launch of the Kentucky Broadband Speed Test, a crowd-sourcing project that will gather data from Kentuckians needed to expand internet home access for distance learning, telework and telehealth. Kentuckians can take the free, anonymous speed test from Jan. 19 to Feb. 18 here.

“There is a digital divide in households across Kentucky, especially in rural areas, that has become even more apparent during the pandemic when so many people need it to attend school, go to work, get government services and conduct personal business from home,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “As an educator, I am especially concerned about the 13,000, or 2%, of Kentucky students who lack internet access at home so they are basically cut off from their teachers and classrooms. We have to do better by them.”

To learn more, see the full release.

More Information
To view the full daily reportincidence rate map, information on testing locationsvaccinescontact tracingschool reports and guidanceguidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit

Kentuckians can listen to translated audio summaries (created in partnership with RadioLex) of the Governor’s Jan. 19 update on hospital funding, COVID-19 cases and vaccines, as well as five bills he vetoed here: EnglishFrenchJapaneseKoreanPersianRussian and Spanish.

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