The press briefing was done in a normally unused part of the Governor’s Mansion because Beshear, first lady Britainy, and their children, Will and Lila, are under quarantine after a member of his security detail tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
“Remember,” he said, “Mondays are fewer cases than most of the rest of the week because of the lab schedules.”
Ninety-four of the newly reported cases were from children up to age 18, of which 18 were age 5 and under. The youngest one was just 4 months old.
Looking back on the last few Mondays, Beshear said, “Last week Monday was 543, the week before 456, the week before that was 406. So, you can see a steady increase. That means we have to do better because we have more contacts out there, whether it’s our kids in school or the activities we’re doing. We just have to make sure we are following best practices, and we want to moderate, or spread out, the amount of contacts we have.”
The total number of cases in the state has now reached 80,930.
Despite the quarantine, Beshear said, “We’re doing great. I’m feeling great, my family feels great. We are trying to be really positive about this situation. We want to thank everybody who has sent their well wishes, not just for my health but also for the member of my security detail who tested positive. We’re all trying to do our best to get through this together.”
He added that the security detail member was experiencing mild symptoms but doing well.
In addition to the new cases, Beshear reported three new deaths Monday, raising the total to 1,255 Kentuckians lost to the virus. They include a 79-year-old man from Boyd County, a 67-year-old woman from Fayette County, and a 61-year-old man from Grayson County.
“Let’s continue to light our houses up green until we don’t have to anymore,” he said.
As of Monday, there have been at least 1,679,411 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.37%, up from 4.32% on Sunday, and more than 13,650 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack highlighted a news story about a junior at Ballard High School in Louisville who is in an intensive-care unit months after contracting COVID-19. Taylor Crites’ mother shared a social media post about her daughter’s ordeal to show the public that “children are not immune” to coronavirus.
Taylor tested positive for coronavirus in June and thought she had recovered. Since then, however, she has suffered cardiac and inflammatory symptoms that her doctors say were caused by COVID-19.
“This is a young, healthy, athletic person who started developing symptoms for the post-inflammatory problems that happen after COVID-19,” Dr. Stack said. “I would urge everybody, please, this is not the time to be dismissive or cavalier about it. It’s time to double our efforts and realize how much disease is in the community and how much it spreads.”
He also emphasized the importance of people quarantining like the first family did if they are called by contact tracers about possible exposure to the disease.
“We should be very grateful for the governor here is obviously doing what he believes to be best for his family and those around them,” Dr. Stack said. “But importantly, he’s also doing what’s right for the state of Kentucky, to prevent any risk of him spreading infection should he turn positive, but also to model the good behavior that we ask of everyone else.”
Taking a wider look at the pandemic, Johns Hopkins University reports Monday there have now been 37,686,296 cases of COVID-19 confirmed worldwide, with 1,078,699 deaths. In the U.S., the number of confirmed cases is now 7,792,816, and 214,985 deaths.
Beshear said he would do another virtual press briefing on Tuesday, which can be seen on YouTube and his Facebook page.