By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the number of new cases of the coronavirus rose on Friday, but the number of deaths dropped.
A total of 573 new cases were reported to state health officials, up from 516 on Thursday and bringing the total number of cases in Kentucky to at least 33,796. Twenty-one of Friday’s new cases involved children age five and younger.
“We all ought to do our part for these kids and all of our kids,” Beshear stated.
He also reported four new deaths Friday, raising the total to 764 Kentuckians lost to the virus. The latest include a 62-year-old woman from Graves County; a 73-year-old woman from Jefferson County; a 91-year-old man from Laurel County; and a 53-year-old man from Pulaski County.
“We are in a place right now where this virus is spreading too much,” the Governor said. “Let’s beat COVID-19 so we don’t lose even more beloved Kentuckians.”
Looking at other numbers as of Friday afternoon, there have been at least 684,356 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.57 percent. At least 8,589 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus. There are currently 717 patients in the hospital, 136 of them in the ICU.
On Thursday, the governor announced that he was extending the state’s mandate requiring face coverings in some situations for another 30 days, citing its success and continued importance in flattening the curve of Kentucky’s COVID-19 cases.
“I hope you are staying safe and have planned a weekend that will help you enjoy but also do what it takes to defeat COVID-19,” Beshear said. “Our positivity rate is up to 5.57%, and what it suggests is that we are still in a very dangerous place where this virus could easily get out of control.”
The governor reiterated that on Monday he is expected to have additional guidance for Kentucky’s bars, which had been ordered closed for inside service; and restaurants, whose capacity had been reduced to 25 percent indoors but unlimited outdoors, if social distancing and facial coverings are used when not actually eating or drinking.
“Expectations ought to be that restaurant capacity will increase again to 50%, but there will be some changes. Especially in restaurants, we need people to still prioritize outdoor seating,” he said. “Bars and restaurants are both going to be expected to have their last item served at 10 p.m. Then there is going to be an hour to let people eat and drink and ultimately go home.”
Gov. Beshear continues to encourage all Kentuckians to take advantage of coronavirus testing being offered at more than 200 locations across the commonwealth.
For additional information about each location, as well as his Administration’s response to the pandemic, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.