“Today we have a tough report all the way around,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a Capitol press briefing. He announced that 816 new cases were reported to state public health officials; 116 of them, or over 14 percent, were children 18 and younger. “There’s been not many days that we’ve had 800 back-to-back,” he said.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 49,991, since the first one in Kentucky was reported on March 6 and is likely to top the 50,000 mark on Thursday.
“Remember, in Kentucky I still believe we are the highest state per capita of grandparents taking care of grandchildren,” he said, “so we have to slow down the spread of COVID in our children, which we’re seeing more and more”.
The governor also reported 18 new deaths Wednesday, second only to the 20 reported on May 19, raising the total to 966 Kentuckians lost to the coronavirus.
The new deaths include an 82-year-old man from Ballard County; a 79-year-old woman from Bell County; a 67-year-old man and a 91-year-old woman from Casey County; an 87-year-old woman from Christian County; two women, ages 65 and 79, from Fayette County; a 97-year-old woman from Lincoln County; a 77-year-old man from Martin County; a 43-year-old man from Oldham County; a 91-year-old woman from Perry County; four women, ages 62, 78, 78 and 81, and an 83-year-old man from Todd County; and two women, ages 96 and 99, from Warren County.
“It’s very rare that I have to read 18 of those that we’ve lost in one day,” Beshear said. “These families are going to need our help. If you know them personally, give them a call and lend a hand. Put out that green light. This loss is all over the commonwealth, so no matter where you are, somebody may need to see that you care.”
A total of 589 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized due to the coronavirus, with 138 in intensive care.
As of Wednesday, there have been at least 894,808 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 4.71 percent, up from Tuesday’s 4.40 percent. At least 10,463 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Beshear noted “recovered’ is something they are looking at right now. “We’re seeing even really healthy folks, athletes, have difficulties persisting months after they are no longer infectious, and have tested negative.”
With the Labor Day weekend and the Kentucky Derby coming up, Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians to keep their gatherings to ten people or less, as the state has experienced spikes in cases, in the weeks following the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays.
He also said to expect him to extend the mask mandate, which is currently set to expire on September 10. “Just about every state is doing it.”
You can read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at kycovid19.ky.gov. His next press briefing is Thursday afternoon at 4:00, Eastern Time.