A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports ‘frightening’ numbers as cases explode across country; Kenton among top counties

Gov. Andy Beshear, out of quarantine, provided “in a word, frightening” report on COVID-19 in Kentucky.

The Governor said this is Kentucky’s highest day of newly reported cases by a significant amount, except for the one day when a backlog of cases from Fayette County were added.

“This is exploding all over the country. Yesterday was the highest amount of cases ever reported in a single day in the United States,” Beshear said. “We’ve got to do better, and on Monday we’ll be talking about new recommendations to counties that are in the red. We’ve got to tamp down these cases. The more cases, the more people that end up in the hospital and the more people die.”

Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

• New cases today: 1,738
• New deaths today: 8
• Positivity rate: 5.63 percent
• Total deaths: 1,404
• Currently hospitalized: 840
• Currently in ICU: 208
• Currently on ventilator: 107

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Elliott, Shelby and Kenton which reported 57 new cases. Boone reported 44 and Campbell reported 30.

Beshear reported eight new deaths Saturday, bringing the total number of Kentuckians now lost to the virus is 1,404.

“That’s eight additional families who are suffering during this time,” said Beshear. “Do what it takes to protect your neighbor, to protect their life. That’s what we’re fighting for now – life and death.”

The deaths reported Saturday include a 69-year-old woman from Lee County; a 70-year-old man from Lincoln County; a 71-year-old man from Jessamine County; a 89-year-old man from Jessamine County; an 86-year-old man from Greenup County; an 89-year-old man from Henderson County; a 71-year-old man from Jefferson County and a 79-year-old man from Harlan.

“We’re all tired of COVID-19 and the problems it has brought,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “People are hurting, whether from the virus itself or the impact it has had on the rest of our lives. It’s all worse, though, when we don’t do simple things like wearing masks and socially distancing. As October comes to a close, please be kind to each other and remember that we help each other, and ourselves, when we focus on defeating the virus rather than arguing with each other.”

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.

Northern Kentucky Health Department warns the Northern Kentucky area is seeing a significant rise in the reported number of COVID-19 cases. The number of deaths remains at 96 for the region but cases are trending upward.

“We are starting to see concerning trends here in Northern Kentucky,” said NKY Health’s District Director of Health, Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, “Most of our health district is showing accelerated spread of COVID-19 and unless we slow this down, we will see a third surge here.”

Northern Kentucky’s location, bordering Ohio and Indiana where rates of COVID-19 are higher, may be contributing to the growing number of cases. However, other factors such as more people physically returning to work and school, combined with social gatherings and events and waning adherence to protective measures are part of the increased spread. In addition, Northern Kentucky is seeing a resurgence of hotspots in some long-term care facilities.

The growth in cases is especially troublesome as cold weather and the holidays approach and more and gatherings move indoors. Although the number of deaths has remained steady so far, Dr. Saddler is concerned about where Northern Kentucky may be heading.

“Northern Kentucky is entering a critical phase of the pandemic,” she said. “We could see our highest case numbers to come and along with that, the possibility of an overwhelmed health care system and an increase in deaths in our most susceptible residents. I don’t want to see that happen here, so I am asking every Northern Kentuckian to take action now.”

Northern Kentuckians can turn this trend around by taking these important steps – wear a face covering, stay six feet away from others, avoid crowded places, keep gatherings small and ideally limited to immediate family and household members, and wash hands frequently.

Additional measures include getting a flu shot and if you smoke or use electronic cigarettes, talk to your health care provider for help with quitting or call 1-800-QUITNOW for assistance.

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