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State’s positivity rate hits 14% for first time

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentuckians testing positive for COVID-19 rose above 14% for the first time Wednesday.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 4,468 cases of the virus, confirmed 30 more deaths, and said a record number were hospitalized with the coronavirus. The positivity rate was at 14.17%, rising from 13.74% on Tuesday.

Beshear made his announcement in a short video on social media.

“No matter what age you are, this thing is deadly and it’s out there. You need to get vaccinated, you need to wear your mask,” Beshear said in the video.

A total of 2,424 were hospitalized with the virus, up 71 from Tuesday, while 674 are in intensive care and 431 are on ventilators. Beshear said just over 90% of the state’s ICU beds are filled with only 151 available throughout the state. Numbers showed 71% of inpatient beds are full with 3,907 remaining open statewide.

The state has roughly six times more COVID-19 cases now than Labor Day last year, according to data.

Lawmakers completed the second day of a special session that is dealing with COVID-19 issues. A House committee reversed an earlier vote and passed a bill that bans mask mandates in public schools by a 16-6 vote. The decision to wear masks would be left up to local districts if the measure becomes law.

It moves to the House floor after the committee passed it and then on to the Senate if it passes the full House.