By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – “This is one of the most dangerous times we’ve had in this entire pandemic,” Gov. Andy Beshear said on Friday, as the work week wrapped up with another day of more than 5,000 new cases of COVID-19.
A total of 5,111 new cases were reported to state public health officials on Friday. “That’s our highest Friday ever and our fourth-highest day of cases in the entire pandemic,” he said in a video posted to Facebook.
Ten counties had more than 100 new cases on Friday: Jefferson 545, Fayette 297, Warren 190, Hardin 172, Pike 161, Kenton 126, Madison 121, Boone 118, Whitley 114, and Daviess with 113.
This means there have now been 592,489 cases of COVID-19,\ since the first one was reported in Harrison County on March 6, 2020.
In addition, there were 24 new deaths, which brings the total number of Kentuckians lost due to the coronavirus to 7,845.
Another record was set in all categories in Friday’s hospital census, with 2,365 people hospitalized, 661 of them in the ICU and 425 on a ventilator.
The state’s positivity rate was 13.17%, down slightly from Thursday, but he said the decline is due to an increase in the number of Kentuckians who are being tested for COVID-19.
“I hope I can convey to you how real this is,” Beshear said. “I hope that we’ll see more people out there wearing masks when they’re in public, but indoors. Folks, it is a scary time. Definitely, if you are unvaccinated, but if you are vaccinated, too.”
Hospitals in eight out the 10 regions in Kentucky reported they are at least 80% of capacity in either patient count, ICU or ventilator use, or a combination of the three. Only two counties, Woodford and Carlisle, are not in the red zone, with more than 35 average daily cases of COVID per 100,000 population.
“We need everybody’s help to stop this,” the governor said. “How many days of 5,000-plus cases and a record number of Kentuckians on a ventilator do we want? If you won’t do it for our healthcare workers, do it for your neighbors.”
Beshear is expected to hold his next COVID-19 update on Tuesday at 4 p.m., due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday. It can be viewed live on his YouTube and Facebook pages.