Kentucky capitol dome

The dome of the Kentucky state Capitol is lit green to remember those who have died of COVID-19 and their families.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Health officials on Saturday reported fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky for the first time in 2021. 

Kentucky reported 769 new cases alongside 19 deaths in which the virus was a contributing factor, according to data from Kentucky Public Health.

Saturday marked only the third time since Oct. 26, 2020, that the state has reported fewer than 1,000 new cases. It was also the first day since Jan. 19 in which the state has reported less than 30 coronavirus-related deaths.

The state did not provide the ages, genders or home counties of the 19 new victims reported Saturday. More than half of the 4,272 Kentuckians who have died from the coronavirus were age 70 or older, according to data from Kentucky Public Health.  

Kentucky's positivity rate, which measures the proportion of coronavirus tests returning positive, also hit its lowest point since early November, falling from 6.95% on Friday to 6.87% on Saturday. 

"Our positivity rate continues to decline, which is the leading indicator of where we are with this virus," Gov. Andy Beshear said in a tweet Saturday morning. "Our efforts have made a difference. Let's continue to mask up, social distance and practice good hygiene as we see the light at the end of this tunnel."

According to the state's vaccination dashboard, 519,333 Kentuckians as of Saturday had received at least the first dose of the two-shot coronavirus immunization. 

Of the new cases reported Saturday, 98 were confirmed in Jefferson County, according to Kentucky Public Health. 

As of Saturday, 1,059 Kentuckians were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to state health officials, while 266 were being treated for the virus in intensive care units. More than 140 patients were on ventilators.

For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. The vast majority of people recover. Of Kentucky's 387,090 confirmed cases reported since March, at least 45,606 have recovered, according to Kentucky Public Health.

But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

To find a COVID-19 testing location near you, click here. To find out if you're eligible for a vaccine and for more information on Kentucky's vaccination process, click here.

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