State has second day of 1,000 new cases, September record for deaths

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for a second straight day Wednesday, putting it on pace for a fourth-straight weekly increase and likely another record week.

In addition, the state is closing out the month with a record number of deaths, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday during is daily briefing.

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The governor reported 1,004 cases, which followed 1,018 Tuesday. Of the new cases, 154 were kids under 18.

“It is a problem, it means we have to be more vigilant,” Beshear said, adding it is clear the state is in an “escalation.”

“It’s not something we can be complacent about, not something we should be willing to accept,” he added.

The plus-1,000 day pushed the state’s total to 68,840. The state set a record for a week last week at 4,949 cases. That likely will be exceeded this week.

Of the new cases, 32 were in Whitley, 24 each were in Scott and Madison, 20 were in Harlan, 18 each were in Knox and Shelby, 12 each were in Laurel and Rowan, 11 were in Jessamine and 10 were in Lincoln.

Beshear also reported four additional deaths, bringing the state’s total to 1,174. Of those, 241 have occurred in September, topping the previous high of 219 in April. The state also recorded 196 in May and 198 in August and Beshear fears October could be the worst yet.

The deaths reported Wednesday include an 86-year-old man from Bullitt County; a 70-year-old man from Christian County; an 87-year-old man from Fayette County; and a 74-year-old man from Jefferson County.

“We have a number of others that are still going through our process, and sadly we are waiting to get information back, but I think we will see in the coming days that this can impact even younger adults,” the governor said.

He also lamented the continuing increase in cases among college students with 119 new cases reported Wednesday, pushing the number of active cases among college students to 1,499. Another 48 active cases are among faculty and staff.

When asked what it would take for him to impose further restrictions to try to curtail the escalation, Beshear sidestepped the issue, noting he and state and national health issues are continuing to monitor the numbers as schools reop3n and long-term care facilities ease into increased visitation.

They also are watching the state’s positivity rate which dipped to 4.07 percent Wednesday.

It’s the fifth straight decline and the lowest in a week.

“I think it’s worth noting at the things we aren’t doing, the steps we haven’t taken like other states opening up everything,” he said.

For 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.

Information about COVID-19 and schools also is being made available. To view the reports, click here for K-12 and here for colleges and universities.