As of Monday, Sept. 20, McLean County has two new confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the daily report generated from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

There have been 1,293 total cases in the county, with 32 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported on Sept. 20 that the county’s current incident rate is 69.8, keeping the county in the red zone.

Statewide, there have been 658,231 total positive COVID-19 cases, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. There have been 8,339 deaths, and the state’s incidence rate is 79.70 per 100,000 population.

All but three counties in the state are in the red zone.

Gov. Andy Beshear held his weekly COVID-19 briefing on Monday and stated that there were 88 new deaths between Sept. 18-20, with three deaths occurring in people in their 20s. Beshear said August had the most cases that the Commonwealth had thus far at 104,000 cases.

“This is still our third-highest week of cases ever in the pandemic,” Beshear said. “And remember, each case we have with the Delta variant is more serious than the alpha or original strain we faced earlier in the pandemic.”

Beshear said that Saturday brought the worst day for hospitals in the state, with critical staffing shortages up to 77% of all hospitals, with 74 of 96 hospitals reporting.

“As of today, we’re down a little bit on that with 63 reporting it,” Beshear said. “But still, this is over two-thirds of our hospitals reporting that shortage. As of today, we have confirmed 21 kids in the hospital — hospitalized because of COVID, seven in the ICU ….”

Beshear noted that there is an influx of children coming into the hospitals. He also gave an update on the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“Last week, we gave out over 5,000 monoclonal antibody treatments,” Beshear said. “And, if you remember, that number has gone up significantly week over week.”

However, the state will only receive 4,960 courses this week due to a national shortage, and Beshear said it will continue to decrease.

“We were able to allocate them to 79 sites around Kentucky, and those were based on backorder requests, on-hand inventory and reported previous week utilization,” Beshear said. “So, what’s going to happen is … sites are going to have until Monday, close of business each week, to request an amount of monoclonal antibody treatments, and then we’ll have to look at the needs across the state and ultimately take the amount that we are allocated from the federal government and ration that out.

“We will have at least one monoclonal antibody treatment provider in each of our area development districts, but there’s not going to be enough anywhere. There’s going to be two few anywhere, and we are already seeing hospitals and other providers run out before the end of each week.”

Beshear warned Kentuckians that they should not hold out on getting the monoclonal antibody treatment and should be more proactive in getting protected of the virus by other means.

“If you’re putting off a shot, a vaccine, to have an infusion — first, let me tell you, an infusion is a lot more invasive,” he said. “I know those that don’t like the vaccine call it a jab in the arm. Well, I mean, chemotherapy is a form of infusion. It is pumping things through your body.

“So, please, knowing there is not going to be enough of those anywhere in the Commonwealth. Get that vaccine.”

Freddie Bourne, fbourne@mcleannews.com

Freddie Bourne, fbourne@mcleannews.com

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