As of Monday, Oct. 4, McLean County has one new confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the daily report generated by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. There have been 1,379 cases in the county, with 36 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported Monday that the county’s incident rate is 51.2, keeping the county in the red zone.

Statewide, there have been 700,393 positive COVID-19 cases, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. There have been 8,906 deaths, and the state’s incidence rate is 56.21 per 100,000 population. A majority of counties in the state are in the red zone, meaning high daily cases of the virus, with the exception of four counties that are in the orange, or substantial, zone, and three counties in the yellow, or moderate zone.

Gov. Andy Beshear held his weekly COVID briefing on Monday in good spirits.

“Overall, today’s report is going to be positive in the trends,” Beshear said. “There is a lot of positive to take from it.”

But, Beshear admits there is still some downfall.

… What is still really hard is the loss of life we continue to see and that loss being preventable, and it’s not just in Kentucky. It’s across the country. We’ve now surpassed 700,000 Americans dead,” Beshear said. “That’s hard. And it’s going to be a scar we, as the American people, carry with us moving forward. This is a huge loss of life in an 18-month period of time. These are more people than live in any city in Kentucky. It is a massive death toll, and it’s important to do everything we can to not let it continue to increase and to protect the people around us….”

Beshear said that rates have declined for the second week in a row, but he notes that the drops have not been consistent or at the same rate.

“We not only want the cases to drop, we want them to drop at a significant rate week to week,” Beshear said. “We want to make sure that we don’t have one drop and a plateau. But right now, everything we’re seeing suggests falling numbers of cases.”

The positivity rate has been falling weekly — Beshear said it is still “way too high” — and hospitalizations have declined.

“The trend is positively negative,” Beshear said. “It is positive that it continues to go down. We’re seeing it across the board. Remember, there was a time where they looked like they started inching down, but the ICU and the ventilators were not. They now have a clear trend downward.”

The monoclonal antibody infusions that were promised last week did not ship on time due to a shortage, but Beshear said the state is getting “everything we ordered,” even though some of the orders have changed.

In another piece of good news, the orders from around Kentucky for monoclonal antibodies is markedly decreasing, which suggests that fewer patients are coming in seeking them,” Beshear said.

But the hospitals are still being hit hard.

“With everything these hospitals are facing, we have provided help in a number of ways,” Beshear said. “We’ve taken over testing from the hardest hit areas, freeing up clinicians. We’ve sent nursing students from schools around the Commonwealth. During the course of COVID, we provided over a billion extra dollars that have flowed to these hospitals through either one-time settlements and or increases in reimbursements.”

Americorps volunteers have been an integral part of assisting, and the state’s National Guard has been “a group that has lifted spirits everywhere” they have gone.

“They’re away from their families and their places of employment to help those most in need,” Beshear said. “We could not do this without them. We still have almost 450 Army and Air guardsmen helping augment our hospitals provide mobile vaccinations and help with our food pantry mission.”

Freddie Bourne, fbourne@mcleannews.com

Freddie Bourne, fbourne@mcleannews.com

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