A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gov. Beshear reports 4th-highest number of COVID cases — 825; round-up of virus news

Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday reported the fourth-highest number of COVID cases since March — 825 new cases and three deaths. This brings the state’s totals to 45,577 cases and 921 deaths. There were 145 new cases of children 18 and under and of those 15 were 5 and under. Two were just eight months old.

There were 41 new cases in Kenton County, 25 in Boone, and 13 in Campbell.

“Unfortunately, today, I’m reporting the fourth-highest number of positives for COVID-19 that we’ve reported since our first case on March 6,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thankfully, our positivity rate is still below five at 4.59%.”

The Governor implored Kentuckians to “please do your part, live for your fellow human being and understand that we are all connected and that your decisions truly matter.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported three new deaths were all from Lincoln County. The total of Kentuckians now lost to the virus is 921.

“That’s one county grieving three losses of its own. That’s three more families who are suffering during this time,” said Gov. Beshear.

Even though it’s not for a few more days, “now is the time to consider how you will celebrate Oaks, Derby and Labor Day in a way that allows you to share time with others while respecting the required masking and social distancing protocols,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health.

“As you may recall, as the number of new cases was leveling off months ago, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July resulted in celebrations and mingling. A noticeable spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases followed. Then, the mask mandate went into effect and Kentuckians took extra care in social distancing and avoiding visits to other states known as ‘hot spots.’ This successfully plateaued our new weekly cases,” Dr. Stack said.

He cautioned, “If the running of the Oaks, the Kentucky Derby and Labor Day activities reflect other summer holidays, though, cases will spike again and Kentucky will have a setback to the progress we have made by working together. Please, let’s show we can learn from the other holidays. Let’s not slip and lose progress against our fight against the coronavirus.”

As of Saturday, at least 871,811 tests had been administered. The COVID-19 testing positive rate, based on a seven-day rolling average, taking into account total positive tests reported by laboratories divided by total tests reported by labs, stood at 4.59%. The number of Kentuckians who have recovered stood at 10,328.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Kentucky Health News round-up

Tina Ryan (Photo by Liam Niemeyer)

▪ Tina Ryan, school nurse at East Calloway Elementary, part of Calloway County Schools, one of the 30 Kentucky districts that have opened to in-person learning, voiced mixed feelings to Liam Niemeyer of Ohio Valley Resource. Not only are children are asymptomatic carriers of the virus, “She worries about parents and families not following covid-19 guidelines and then sending their kids to her school,” Niemeyer reports. “She worries about her students with chronic illnesses who could be more vulnerable, across the hundreds of students she cares for in multiple schools.” But despite those worries, Ryan said “I just feel like that kids, physically, mentally, socially, they need to be back in school. It’s time to be back. They want to be back. And again, if they don’t, if the parents choose not to, that’s their option.”

▪ The Kentucky Board of Education discussed high-school sports for almost three and a half hours, then voted unanimously to send the Kentucky High School Athletic Association a letter expressing concern about high-contact sports such as football and suggesting alternatives to the KHSAA’s plan.

▪ The state has made little progress eliminating its backlog of unemployment claims, despite “an expensive, no-bid contract” with a national accounting firm that provided employees to do the work, Chris Otts reports for WDRB: “Kentucky has about the same amount of backlogged unemployment claims today – 73,642 – as in early July when Ernst & Young was beginning its short-term contract work.”

▪ The Supreme Court of Kentucky gave tenants and landlords an extra 14 days between an initial eviction filing and when a trial can be set, saying that would give “landlords and tenants sufficient time to access available rental assistance through the Healthy at Home Eviction Prevention Fund,” which Beshear is creating with federal relief money.

▪ “The head of the Food and Drug Administration ousted its top spokeswoman from her position on Friday in an urgent bid to restore the tarnished credibility of the agency after he made erroneous claims that overstated the benefits of plasma treatments for covid-19 at a news conference with President Trump,” The New York Times reports. “The decision came just a day after the FDA’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, terminated the contract of a public-relations consultant who had advised the FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, to correct his misleading claims that 35 out of 100 covid-19 patients ‘would have been saved because of the administration of plasma’.”

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