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Kentucky avoids major January COVID upswing

Virus Outbreak Kentucky
Jeff Dean/AP
FR171800 AP
Cars wait in line at a COVID testing site in Covington, Ky., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Kentucky was spared a major surge in serious new COVID-19 cases following the December holidays.

The lack of a sizable post-holiday spike is encouraging news for the state, which has seen hospitalizations soar in the past. Gov. Andy Beshear said, right now, the graph looks more like a few bumps in the road.

"We're kind of bumping up and down a little bit from month to month, but nothing like what we previously lived through."
Gov. Andy Beshear

Still, the governor pressed eligible Kentuckians – only 12% of whom have re-upped their protection with the latest COVID booster – to consider getting the shot.

On the flu front, the governor said the numbers remain high in the commonwealth, but they are coming down. He cautioned that a forthcoming batch of numbers may create a false spike in the data in the coming days.

"That may make our numbers look elevated. They are not. Those will be historic cases and we can confirm to you that the trend for flu is declining," Beshear said during his Thursday briefing.

That trend mirrors the outlook across the country. Nationwide, flu, RSV, and COVID cases have all dropped to the lowest they have been in three months – spurring hopes that the strong respiratory virus season may be winding down.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.