Gov. Andy Beshear reported lower overall numbers and a better positivity rate on Monday. (Kentucky Today/Tom Latek)

There have now been 48,396 cases in Kentucky, since the first one was reported on March 6.  There were 381 newly reported on Monday, down from Sunday’s 462 and less than half of Saturday’s 825, which was he fourth-highest number of new cases in a day.  Forty-three of Monday’s new cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which two were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was a 1-year-old from Madison County.

“We always have lower numbers on Sundays and Mondays, due to lab closures over the weekend.  But the White House report for this week still has 59 of our 120 counties in the red or yellow zone,” said Gov. Andy Beshear, during a Capitol press briefing.  “We don’t want any of our counties in either.  Let’s remember how serious this is and not act like everything is normal.”

There were also three new deaths reported Monday, raising the total to 933 Kentuckians lost to the virus.  They include a 61-year-old man from Lincoln County, a 72-year-old woman from Martin County, and a 65-year-old man from Owen County.

As of Monday, there have been at least 877,443 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky.  The positivity rate currently stands at 4.42 percent, based on a seven-day rolling average. That is a decline from Sunday’s 4.54 percent, and Saturday’s 4.59 percent.  At least 10,375 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, spoke about changes to the emergency regulations relating to childcare, aimed at balancing the safety and health of our children, caregivers and the public.

“We also recognize our children’s need to learn and socialize and the essential role of childcare for working parents. It is good that everyone is now recognizing the importance of childcare,” he said. “It has been a difficult time for child-care providers. CARES Act funding has resulted in over $67 million going to Kentucky child-care providers.”

In unveiling “Journey to a New Kentucky: Changes to Child-Care Facilities Guidance,” Friedlander said the department was offering a plan to address increasing capacity and the pre-existing shortages of registered and certified providers, while continuing to enforce childcare standards.

Among the provisions in the new guidance:

--Help for parents to meet needs of nontraditional instruction (NTI) days by aiding background checks on providers and ensuring staffers are: masked; using proper hygiene; enforcing health checks and small groups; and have a plan is in place for when someone tests positive for COVID-19.

--Expanding the maximum number of allowed children to 15 for licensed child-care facilities.

--Certified homes, licensed infant and 1-year-old classrooms may return to typical group sizes.

--$2,500 startup incentive bonus through the federal CARES Act to encourage new providers.

Read more about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at  His next press briefing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 4.

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