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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky reported 1,626 COVID-19 cases and a decreased positivity rate of 6.25% Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced in a social media post.

Around 27% of the new cases Friday were in children and teens aged 18 and under.

The Democratic governor also reported 29 virus-related deaths which include a 27-year-old.

Some 1,012 virus patients were hospitalized in Kentucky, including 289 being treated in intensive care units, a state report said.

The Delta variant surge continues to strain Kentucky’s hospitals, but the situation is still improving, Beshear said Thursday.

“We’re down to 57 hospitals that are reporting critical staffing shortages, though we don’t believe those staffing shortages are as bad as they have been,” he added.

A total of 176 intensive care unit beds were available statewide, compared with 142 the same day last week. Seven out of 10 hospital regions in the state have ICU capacity at 80% and above.

More than 30 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are reported to be in the red zone — the most serious category for COVID-19 incidence rates. People in those counties are asked to follow stricter recommended guidelines to contain the virus.

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