Gov. Andy Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky Department for Public Health commissioner, are encouraging Kentuckians to take the necessary steps to prevent COVID-19 exposure and positivity.
The severely bad weather and recent tornados, along with the omicron variant surge, has prompted them to strongly recommend vaccinations and booster doses this month.
“The omicron variant is spreading rapidly,” Stack said. “Omicron spreads so easily, it is compared to measles, the most contagious human virus on the planet.”
He noted hospitalizations are increasing during the surge, and health care resources continue to be overused and strained.
On Dec. 30, 2021, KDPH officials reported the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases.
“We have gone from the plateau to the second-highest week of reported cases since the start of the pandemic,” Beshear said.
KDPH reported a 20.72% test positivity rate on Jan. 3, resulting in the highest rate recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the governor’s office.
Monoclonal antibody treatment can be unsuccessful against the omicron variant, Stack said. Two of the three monoclonal antibody treatments do not protect against the omicron variant. As a result, new shipments of those antibodies have ended.
“Particularly given the loss of most of the monoclonal antibody supply, I again urge all eligible persons 5 and older to get vaccinated and/or boosted with a Moderna or Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to prevent serious and/or life-threatening COVID-19 disease,” Stack said.
Merck and Pfizer’s oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment drugs were approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month. Stack said supplies are limited in Kentucky, based on vulnerability and personnel priorities.
To locate and stay informed on oral antiviral drug availability, visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov.
“There is very little medication and great demand,” Stack said. “It is very likely these pharmacies will run out of their supply quickly.”
Vaccine booster doses are available at Lyon County Health Department, Lyon Drug Store, and McConnell Health Mart Pharmacy.
In Princeton, Walmart, Princeton Drug Store, CVS, Community Medical Clinic, and Caldwell County Health Department offer booster vaccines.
Lyon County Health Department offers youth vaccinations. In Princeton, Walmart, CVS, and the Caldwell County Health Department offer youth vaccinations. Contact health providers to confirm supply and eligibility.
KDPH reported on Monday, Lyon County’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 8.82%. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 2,141 total cases, and 30 total deaths.