COVID cases likely up for week, death total tops 800

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state’s new coronavirus cases continue high but still suggest it is at or near a plateau and avoiding the explosion of cases that hit many states for weeks this summer.

But as the numbers sit on a precipice, it’s even more reason to follow every safety precaution and avoid opening schools to in-person classes, Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Friday briefing that focused more on an election plan for the November voting he unveiled jointly with Secretary of State Michael Adams (see related story).

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Beshear reported 679 new cases, a trend he thinks will put this week’s numbers above last week’s rather than below as he had hoped. Overall, the state has recorded 38,298 cases since March 6.

“Today we continue to see high numbers of COVID-19 cases,” Gov. Beshear. “At best we are at a plateau thanks to people wearing of facial coverings and we still need more time to reach a decline to get this state in the place we really need to be to do so many activities that we want.”

Of the new cases, 77 are kids under 18, including three school-aged children each in Barren and Hardin counties which plan on starting in-person classes in their schools.

New cases continue high in counties across the region, including 44 in Fayette, 21 in Madison, 12 in Clark, and 10 each in Laurel and Pulaski.

The state’s positivity rate was 5.68 percent and has stayed in the range most of the week.

“We’ve got to get that number down,” Beshear said.

Other closely watched numbers also continued up slightly with 656 people in the hospital, 147 in ICU and 97 on ventilators.

The governor reported eight additional deaths, which pushed the state’s total over 800 to 804.

The deaths include an 85-year-old woman from Bell County; an 85-year-old woman from Casey County; a 63-year-old woman from Christian County; two women, ages 82 and 92, from Franklin County; a 75-year-old woman from Hopkins County; an 83-year-old woman from Jefferson County; and a 77-year-old woman from Lewis County.