By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The number of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky declined Tuesday from a week earlier, but there were also 14 new deaths.
During a virtual press briefing, since he and his family are in quarantine at the Governor’s Mansion, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 776 new cases of COVID-19. “That is down from last Tuesday, and that is positive. But, if you look at this Monday and Tuesday together, It’s within about 100 of last Monday and Tuesday.”
Beshear said he was going to closely monitor the numbers the rest of the week, to see if there is any stabilization. “Obviously, it is early, but it’s something that we hope for, and I believe that if we see it, it’s because we have more people out there doing the right thing.”
Of the new cases, 111 were children 18 and under, while 22 of them were age 5 and under. The youngest was just 1 month old. That brings the pandemic total to 81,691, since the first case was reported in Kentucky on March 6.
There were also 14 more deaths reported on Tuesday, meaning there have now been 1,269 Kentuckians lost to the coronavirus.
“It’s a big number,” he said, “and these days are hard when we’ve had this amount of loss.”
They include a 76-year-old man from Daviess County; an 88-year-old man from Fayette County; two women, ages 74 and 87, and three men, ages 82, 88, and 82, from Henderson County; an 87-year-old man from Jessamine County; a 96-year-old man from Jefferson County; 91-year-old woman from Laurel County; two woman, ages, 68 and 95, from Madison County; a 59-year-old woman from McLean County; and a 90-year-old man from Montgomery County.
“That’s a lot of individuals,” Beshear said, “Each one is more than an age and a county, each one is a special life, a special Kentuckian that we’ve lost. So, let’s make sure we lift up those families, let’s turn on our green lights again tonight, let’s ring our bells at 10 every morning until we get through this.”
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, a former teacher, gave a report on the new K-12 reporting dashboard. “Each community is able to use this as actionable information that helps keep Kentucky open for business and a path to a sustained return to in-person classes, which is what we all want.”
She says each school is asked to report any positive cases of COVID-19 every day of the week. That is then reported to the local health department, and in turn to the Kentucky Department for Public Health for verification. It is then entered onto the dashboard for each school.
Coleman said there are 1,732 schools in the database, which went live on September 29. “As of today, it shows we have 798 quarantined students, and 137 quarantined staff across Kentucky. 1,529 schools have reported data at least one day in the last two weeks.”
She said it also means just over 200 schools have failed to report even one day. “That is unacceptable and it’s irresponsible. It jeopardizes the health of your students, your school staff, your families and your community.”
Coleman added, “We all want our children back in their classrooms where they can learn from their teachers and be with their friends. But, by not being accountable to your community, you are actively impeding the ability of this to happen.”