During a press briefing at the Capitol, the governor said there were 726 new cases, 101 of which involved children 18 years of age and younger.  That brings the total cases to 41,626 since the first one was reported on March 6.  “That means this virus is still out there and it’s still aggressively spreading,” he said.

Despite a large number of new cases he said Kentucky’s positivity rate has dropped to 5.18 percent, on a seven-day rolling average.  That’s down substantially from the 5.41 percent reported Wednesday and 5.48 percent on Tuesday.

“That’s good news, but here’s the really hard news,” he said.  “We are announcing 14 new deaths.  “We had 12 Wednesday and 12 the day before.  That’s 38 deaths in just the last three days.”

The latest deaths include a 66-year-old man from Barren County; a 95-year-old woman from Clay County; two men, ages 81 and 88, from Fayette County; an 88-year-old woman from Gallatin County; a 55-year-old man from Graves County; an 84-year-old woman from Harlan County; a 77-year-old woman from Hopkins County; an 89-year-old man from Jackson County; a 57-year-old man from Marion County; a 96-year-old woman from Oldham County; a 65-year-old woman from Pulaski County; and a 76-year-old man from Warren County.

One family asked for their loved one’s demographics not to be shared.  The highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day in Kentucky was 20, reported on May 19.

As of Thursday, 638 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 155 in the ICU, and 108 are on a ventilator Beshear reported.  There have been at least 794,282 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky and more than 9,388 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

“Let’s make sure we make the right decisions to keep our cases low. Let’s make sure we wear our masks and stay six feet apart,” he said.

The governor said he was surprised that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association voted to go ahead with a full fall sports season.  “One of the things I thought was do we want to start when we have a 10 percent chance of getting through the season where we might play two games or do we want to start at a time when we think we can get through 10 games and people have a full and complete season?”

He added, “If some of the early sports aren’t successful and have to cancel their season, that could lead to the cancellation of other sports coming after that, based on this virus.  That would worry me if I’m in some of those other sports.”

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander reminded Kentuckians of the importance of completing the 2020 census at or by calling 844-330-2020.   

“Our hospitals, health care providers, social service agencies, housing authority, and other organizations receive grant funding based on the number of people and the demographics of the population they serve,” Friedlander said.  “Let's not leave their supplemental funding on the table,” said Secretary Friedlander. “Furthermore, congressional and state legislative seats are based on population, which means if we don’t complete the census, we threaten our ability to be heard in Washington and here in Frankfort.”

Currently, about two-thirds of Kentuckians have completed their census form.  The deadline is September 20.

Beshear says his next scheduled press briefing will be Monday at 4 p.m.

You can find out more about other key updates, actions, and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration on the response to the coronavirus pandemic at

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