LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's COVID-19 positivity rate remained below 3% for the fourth day in a row on Wednesday.
The positivity rate, which measures the proportion of COVID-19 tests returning positive, fell from 2.93% Tuesday to 2.85% on Wednesday, according to a report from Kentucky Public Health. The rate is an indicator of the extent of the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization says. If the rate is less than 5% for two weeks and testing is widespread, the virus is considered under control.
"Every day, as more Kentuckians are vaccinated, we get closer to our goal of defeating COVID-19," Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release. "We’re not just going to meet the president’s goal that every American adult will be able to sign up for vaccination appointments by May 1, we’re going to beat that goal by more than two weeks at least."
Health officials on Wednesday reported 695 new COVID-19 cases and 24 more deaths in which the virus was a contributing factor, according to Kentucky Public Health. An additional 25 deaths were reported as a result of an ongoing state audit of death certificates, Beshear's office said in the news release.
Among the deaths from the audit were six women, ages 52, 65, 84, 86, 87 and 95, and a 78-year-old man from Jefferson County, according to state data. The earliest of those deaths dates back to Oct. 31, 2020, and the latest is from Jan. 4, 2021, data show.
To date, at least 5,863 Kentuckians have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Data from Kentucky Public Health show 438 Kentuckians currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 103 being treated for the virus in intensive care units. More than 80 residents were on ventilators.
According to the state's vaccination dashboard, 1,223,094 Kentuckians had received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday.
The state is still providing free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccination appointments. Click here for a list of participating transportation agencies, or call Kentucky's COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 855-598-2246.
For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. The vast majority of people recover. Of the state's 422,694 confirmed cases reported since March 2020, at least 49,318 have recovered, according to Kentucky Public Health.
But for others, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.
To find a COVID-19 testing location near you, click here.
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