Governor also updates Kentuckians on December tornadoes, possible flooding this week
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 21, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear said COVID-19 numbers continue to decline. Though the spread of the virus remains high statewide, several counties are no longer in the highest category of disease incidence.
The Governor said if Kentucky’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease, he plans to update guidance by March 14.
“The top line on COVID is, cases continue to fall at a good rate. Our positivity rate continues to fall. Hospitalizations, ICU numbers and ventilator usage are all declining. Deaths are still staying fairly high, but we hope deaths will follow the rest of the trends shortly,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are now below the delta variant’s peak. We are heading in the right direction and at a good pace.”
COVID-19 Case Information, Vaccinations Update
Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,877,881
Number of people who have received their vaccination booster in Kentucky: 1,069,243
Feb. 19, Cases: 3,564
Feb. 19, Deaths: 32
Feb. 20, Cases: 1,422
Feb. 20, Deaths: 29
New Cases Today: 969
New Deaths: 21
Today’s Positivity Rate: 12.74%
Current Hospitalizations: 1,333
Current Intensive Care Admittances: 270
Currently on Ventilators: 141
During the week ending Feb. 20, 25,173 cases were reported in Kentucky and the average test positivity rate was 13.10%. The percent of PCR tests that are positive for COVID-19 continue to steadily decline. The number of patients currently in the hospital or in intensive care for COVID-19 is also declining steadily, however a large number of Kentuckians still remain hospitalized or in need of critical care.
Kentucky will experience multiple rounds of heavy rain during this week, with the first-round forecast to begin tonight and continue all day Tuesday and again Wednesday night through Friday. The heaviest rainfall is expected Tuesday, with 1- to 3-inches or more of rain possible. A flood watch has been issued for the entire commonwealth to highlight the potential for excessive rainfall and flooding issues during the day Tuesday.
There is also a slight risk for severe weather across Western and Southcentral Kentucky for Tuesday afternoon. A few strong storms are possible with heavy rainfall and damaging wind gusts as the most likely hazards, though an isolated tornado is possible.
Tornado Death Toll
As of today, the Department of Public Health has confirmed the death toll from the Western Kentucky tornados has risen to 80. The additional losses included a 33-year-old woman from Mayfield and her baby, who lived only six days.
Commonwealth Sheltering Program
The commonwealth has launched a new page for tornado survivors to help identify their needs.
Currently travel trailers are still available for survivors to be placed on the property of the impacted families or on public property identified by state and local officials. Thirty Kentucky families have benefitted from the program thus far.
To access this website, visit governor.ky.gov/TornadoResources. The page will connect survivors to wraparound services from state and nonprofit organizations. It will also connect individuals to the Commonwealth Sheltering Program if they need medium-term housing during the recovery process. Once there, click the register link. Survivors will receive a confirmation email and/or reply within about five business days.
To be eligible for continued sheltering, survivors must register with FEMA. The deadline for storm survivors to apply for FEMA for assistance is Monday, March 14, 2022. To apply for FEMA assistance, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. To find a Disaster Recovery Center, visit fema.gov/drc or call the FEMA Helpline.
Federal Government Warning
The federal government has released several warnings amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Companies across the U.S. have been encouraged to increase cyber defenses, especially those handling critical infrastructure like power and water. Concerns have also been shared about increased prices on corn and wheat, as well as energy prices. The Biden administration is prepared to deploy various tools to help provide relief at the gas pump. The Governor emphasized that Americans should be united during this difficult time.