By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday was another day with more than 1,200 new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky, along with 20 more deaths.
The 1,260 new cases marked the second day in a row with over 1,000 new cases as Wednesday saw 1,346, according to test results reported to state public health officials. A total of 168 of the newly reported cases came from children up to age 18, of which 29 were children 5 and under. The youngest was only 5 months old. There have now been 84,195 total COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, since the first one was reported on March 6.
“We keep reiterating that we have to do better and we have to wear masks, and we keep seeing a high numbers that highlight how important that is,” Beshear said in a virtual press briefing from the Governor’s Mansion.
He and his family have self-quarantined themselves there 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.
In addition, Beshear said the state’s positivity rate has risen to 4.94 percent, “Which is the highest it’s been in about four weeks. This is not moving in the right direction, and it’s up to us to stop these increases in cases, increases in positivity, we continue to see increases in hospitalizations.”
A total of 738 Kentuckians were hospitalized due to COVID-19, an increase from 711 on Wednesday. 192 of them were in the ICU, up from 185 the previous day, with 92 currently on a ventilator.
The governor also reported 20 new deaths on Thursday, which raises the total to 1,296 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
They include an 86-year-old man from Bracken County; a 71-year-old woman from Christian County; four women, ages 82, 88, 92 and 100, from Daviess County; two women, ages 74 and 96, from Greenup County; two women, ages 92 and 97, and a 74-year-old man from Henderson County; two women, ages 49 and 84, and a 64-year-old man from Jefferson County; an 88-year-old woman from Knott County; an 80-year-old man from Pulaski County; a 72-year-old woman from Scott County; an 81-year-old man from Webster County; and an 85-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man from Whitley County.
“I can’t tell you how painful it is to read 20 entries,” Beshear said. “We are going to have a lot more days like this if we don’t do better about wearing masks, about social distancing and about following the rules.”
As of Thursday, there have been 1,751,264 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, and at least 16,928 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Taking a wider view of the pandemic, Johns Hopkins University reports 38,744,784 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with 1,094,979 deaths. In the United States, there are now 7,962,046 confirmed cases, with 217,497 deaths.
This was Gov. Beshear’s last scheduled press briefing until Monday. However, his office will release COVID-19 updates daily, through the weekend.
For more information on the Beshear Administration response to COVID-19, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.