By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – “Today ought to be one of those things that jolts us into action,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a press briefing on the coronavirus, with over 1,300 cases reported to state public health officials on Wednesday.
“We have 1,346 new positive cases of COVID-19. There is no backlog in that. That is today’s numbers,” he stated. “It is an indication that right now at least we are finding more virus out there, and there is probably more virus out there, than anytime to date.”
While Tuesday, October 7, saw the largest total single day of cases in Kentucky with 2,398, all but 926 were from a backlog reported by the Fayette County Health Department.
A total of 171 of the newly reported cases were from children up to age 18, of which 34 were age 5 and under. The youngest was just 2 months old. This brings to 83,013 the number of positive cases in Kentucky since the pandemic started.
“If you take out the backlog cases that came in last week,” Beshear said, “this would be our single highest day. That’s not where we want to be right now. So we have to stop this third escalation, and then with the levels that it’s on right now, we have got to see decreasing cases. I’ve said wake-up call before, maybe this is a jolt or a shock to the system, but everybody ought to be concerned, and everybody ought to be doing the right thing.”
That includes wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
“Those who are out there that try to confront you for wearing a mask or being a jerk, that’s all they are, and they’re putting your health at risk,” the Governor said. “Do the right thing. The vast majority of people are with you. Let’s keep it up and let’s know that we have to step it up a little better each day. Let’s push the complacency out, let’s get the urgency back in.”
Gov. Beshear reported seven new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 1,276 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Wednesday include a 76-year-old man from Boyd County, a 76-year-old man from Bullitt County, a 49-year-old woman from Fayette County, a 78-year-old man from Franklin County, an 82-year-old woman from Henderson County, a 76-year-old man from Jefferson County, and an 81-year-old man from Webster County.
The Governor also announced that two Kentucky veterans who were at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore were among those who died from COVID-19.
“They were at the Lexington VA,” he said. “Those are now the second and third veterans in our nursing homes who we have lost. It’s another reason to make sure we’re doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus.”
As of Wednesday, there have been over 1,718,000 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.72%, up from 4.59% on Tuesday, and at least 16,756 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Gov. Beshear continues to conduct his news briefings remotely, as he and his family self-quarantine in the Governor’s Mansion after they were potentially exposed to COVID-19 late Saturday afternoon through a member of the Governor’s security detail. The Governor, first lady, and their two children have all tested negative thus far, with another test expected on Friday.
His last scheduled press briefing this week will be Thursday afternoon at 4 and can be viewed on his YouTube and Facebook pages.
For more information on the Beshear Administration response to COVID-19, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.