State COVID rates, numbers continue to increase despite pleas

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – With the highest number of new coronavirus cases on a Monday since the pandemic began and increasing positivity rates and hospitalizations, state officials continue to warn that unless Kentuckians take the necessary steps, tougher restrictions could have to be reimposed.

“Right now we are not looking at more restrictions but if we don’t do the things necessary to get this under control, I full expect the White House to ask us to take action on bars and restaurants to limit capacity,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a long daily briefing Monday.

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When asked about potential guidance or limits on winter sports through the Kentucky High School Athletics Association, Beshear would not rule that ought.

“While stressing he didn’t want to limit athletics or other activities, he added “if we don’t get a handle on” the numbers, “we are going to have to do something about winter sports…obvious indoor sports, especially high contact indoor sports like basketball are a concern,” he stated.

On the flip side, he stressed how the future is in Kentuckians’ hands.

“We don’t have to have a vaccine to open things up. We just have to do it ourselves…It’s all in our power…if we keep our guard up, it will allow us to do more,” he stated.

“The misinformation that’s out there is just that, misinformation…If we wear our masks consistently, it’s very well substantiated they can help stop the spread of the virus,” Stack added, citing “every credible health expert in the country.”

Beshear announced 647 new coronavirus cases, pushing the state total to 88,247. Of the new cases, 81 are in kids under 18.

The positivity rate is almost at the dangerous 5 percent rate at 4.97 percent. A total 794 people are now in the hospital, 190 in ICU and 89 on ventilators.

The hospital numbers mean the state is using 65.8 percent capacity while the ICU cases mean 71 percent. The state is only using 27.6 percent of its ventilator capacity, he said.

“But that all can change very quickly,” Beshear said. “This can’t continue to go up.”

He also reported nine deaths, pushing the state’s total to 1,326.

The deaths reported Monday include an 82-year-old man from Franklin County; a 73-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 58-year-old man from Lincoln County; a 73-year-old man from Marshall County; an 83-year-old woman from Mercer County; an 85-year-old man from Owen County; a 70-year-old woman and a 93-year-old man from Todd County; and a 72-year-old man from Wayne County.

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. 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.