Second straight day over 1,000, 20 deaths, Beshear ‘begs’ state to act

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – With a second straight day of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, a positivity rate the highest it’s been in a month, 20 more deaths and hospital cases raising rapidly, Gov. Andy Beshear literally begged residents to act Thursday.

“I am begging you, let’s turn this thing around…care about the people around you, be a bigger person,” Beshear stated, addressing the increasing number of people who either aren’t wearing masks in defiance of the state’s mandate or those who are suffering “COVID fatigue” and aren’t abiding by health guidelines.

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“It is time to realize this is getting worse, not better,” he said after disclosing the disturbing string of numbers. “We can’t ignore it, we can’t pretend it’s not here.”

The governor reported 1,260 new cases, raising the state’s total to 84,195. There were 168 newly reported cases from children up to age 18, of which 29 were children 5 and under. The youngest was only 5 months old.

He reported 20 more deaths, increasing the total to near the 1,300 threshold at 1,296.

The deaths include an 86-year-old man from Bracken County; a 71-year-old woman from Christian County; four women, ages 82, 88, 92 and 100, from Daviess County; two women, ages 74 and 96, from Greenup County; two women, ages 92 and 97, and a 74-year-old man from Henderson County; two women, ages 49 and 84, and a 64-year-old man from Jefferson County; an 88-year-old woman from Knott County; an 80-year-old man from Pulaski County; a 72-year-old woman from Scott County; an 81-year-old man from Webster County; and an 85-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man from Whitley County.

The state’s positivity rate climbed to 4.94 percent, the highest it’s been in four weeks and dangerously close to the 5 percent mark where national health officials recommend action such as closing or limiting many businesses.

Other key barometers also continue up this week with 738 people now in the hospital with coronavirus-related symptoms and 192 in intensive care. The number of people on ventilators  was down to 92 Thursday from more than 100 Wednesday.

Western Kentucky has been particularly hard hit this week with a number of counties recording double-digit increases in cases. But Eastern Kentucky also is being hit hard with Knox have 23 new cases, Knott 22, Pike 21, Clay, Laurel and Nelson 19 each, 16 in Scott, 14 in Madison, 11 in Boyle and 10 each in Montgomery and Shelby.

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. To see all recent daily reports, click here.

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