FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The number of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky rose slightly on Wednesday, putting the total over 45,000, and the number of deaths has topped 900, while the state’s positivity rate dropped back below 5%.
During a Capitol press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 696 new cases, which was up eight from Tuesday, 114 of which were children under 18 years of age. This makes the total 45,230 cases in Kentucky, since the first one was reported on March 6.
With an increasing number of children testing positive for COVID-19, reaching 16% on Wednesday, the governor said he hopes people are making good decisions, especially those in charge of young people.
“This is a difficult time, but we need to be wise,” he said. “We need to make sure that we make decisions based on science, on what’s in the best interest of those we serve, and not just based on complaints. When we start making decisions based on that, on comments on Facebook, then you very quickly let the small group of folks who are upset know hoe to steer your decision-making.”
Beshear announced the positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average, dropped from 5.07% on Tuesday to 4.64% on Wednesday.
“That’s one of the lowest numbers we’ve had in the past four weeks or so, but it’s still too high,” he said. “We’re going to expect to see it rise and fall. I don’t think it will stay under five percent over the next couple of days, but again, we were going toward six, so this is one positive sign that is out there.”
There were seven new deaths reported on Wednesday, which raises the total to 902 Kentuckians lost to COVID-19.
The new deaths include an 89-year-old woman from Boone County; an 81-year-old woman from Graves County; a 79-year-old woman from Greenup County; two men, ages 50 and 89, from Jefferson County; a 91-year-old woman from Oldham County; and an 83-year-old man from Whitley County.
“The virus doesn’t care that we get tired or frustrated, it doesn’t care if we want to go back to our lives, it is just as aggressive, it is just as deadly and it is killing people we know,” Gov. Beshear said. “So, it’s up to us to be strong and resilient enough.”
As of Wednesday, there have been at least 839,454 coronavirus tests performed in the state, and at least 9,691 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman updated the status of the Team Kentucky Fund, which aids those who have negatively impacted by the coronavirus.
To date, $3,545,027 has been donated to the Team Kentucky Fund, and Coleman noted that through the state’s partnership with Community Action Kentucky, for every $1 given to the Team Kentucky Fund, $1.70 goes to Kentuckians in need.
“Because of this partnership, not only are we able to immediately help Kentuckians, we are also able to help them in the long run,” she said. “I want to thank Community Action for your help and for everyone who has donated $5, $10, $15 to help their fellow Kentuckians.”
The Team Kentucky Fund top categories include: electric: $101,952.49; food: $123,209.34; mortgage: $102,287.30; rent: $410,290.74; for a grand total: $789,658.77.
Coleman said 2,421 vouchers had been issued that aided 1,032 households.
Gov. Beshear says his next press briefing will be Thursday afternoon at 4. For more information on the Beshear administration response to COVID-19, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.