By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The trend continues of higher number of new cases of the coronavirus later in the week as 775 were reported to state health officials on Thursday.
“It means that we do have to push to have fewer cases,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a Capitol press briefing, “but it does show that we are doing a lot of testing.”
This brings the total cases since Kentucky’s first positive COVID-19 result on March 6, to 45,978. The state’s positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average was 4.8 percent, slightly above Wednesday’s 4.64 percent, but still below five percent.
Of the 775 cases, Beshear said nearly a quarter of Thursday’s positive cases were age 18 or younger, which he termed a disturbing trend. “Twenty-three percent, that’s 130 kids,” he said.
A total of 573 Kentuckians was reported hospitalized with the coronavirus, 154 of whom were in the ICU and 88 on a ventilator.
In addition, he reported eight more deaths in the state, which makes the pandemic total 910. The latest victims include an 84-year old man in Allen County, an 89-year old woman in McCracken County, a 75-year old man in Warren County, and 84-year old man in Barren County, a 70-year old man in Hardin County, a 90-year old man from Lewis County, a 74-year old man in Madison County and an 80-year old woman from Green County.
There were 26 new cases reported in K-12 schools along with three staff members. At Kentucky’s colleges and universities, there were 11 new cases involving students, and one staff member. 19 Kentucky colleges and universities have now seen at least one positive case, as have 48-schools in the K-12 category.
Other numbers released Thursday were that a total of 848,937 tests have been performed and 9,731 Kentuckians have recovered from the coronavirus.
The State Board of Education is holding a special meeting tomorrow afternoon, when they are expected to discuss and make a recommendation to the Kentucky High School Athletics Association, which could include urging the KHSAA to consider alternative options for high contact fall sports.
Beshear chastised those who took to social media or called and made threats against board members. “Everybody, take a breath,” he said. “If you’re one of those people today who made one of those threats, go talk to your minister. We have to be better than that.”
While he said he didn’t believe the Board would vote to cancel the fall sports season and he didn’t ask to have the meeting called, Beshear said, “If this is going to be a parental choice, a superintendent choice, a principal choice, a coach choice; it has to be based on real information.”
His next full press briefing will be Monday.