State sets several new COVID records, including cases, deaths

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s worst ever COVID-19 report by virtually every measure during his daily briefing Tuesday.

He reported more than 4,000 new cases and 35 new deaths. Nearly 250 Kentuckians are fighting for their lives on ventilators.

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“There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Today is the very worst day we have had for reporting on the spread of the coronavirus and it is the deadliest day that we have had,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is exponential growth. If we don’t all do our part, if we try to be the exception, then slowing down this thing won’t work and we will lose a lot more Kentuckians we love and care about.”

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

  • New cases today: 4,151
  • New deaths today: 35
  • Positivity rate: 9.59%
  • Total deaths: 1,943
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,777
  • Currently in ICU: 441
  • Currently on ventilator: 241

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, McCracken, Warren, Kenton, Hardin, Daviess and Boone. Each county reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 700.

The red zone counties for this week can be found here. Community leaders, businesses, schools and families in these counties should all follow red zone reduction recommendations, as well as other orders and guidance.

Those reported lost to the virus include a 70-year-old man from Boyd County; a 75-year-old man from Calloway County; an 82-year-old man from Christian County; a 96-year-old woman from Daviess County; a 95-year-old woman from Graves County; two women, ages 79 and 86, and two men, ages 57 and 66, from Grayson County; a 93-year-old woman from Henderson County; an 87-year-old man from Hopkins County; six women, ages 61, 64, 76, 77, 77 and 80, and seven men, ages 62, 64, 64, 66, 72, 73 and 94, from Jefferson County; a 62-year-old woman from Jessamine County; a 76-year-old man from Kenton County; a 79-year-old woman from Marshall County; a 66-year-old woman from Mason County; two men, ages 59 and 64, from McCracken County; an 88-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man from Monroe County; a 65-year-old man from Montgomery County; a 93-year-old woman from Robertson County; and an 82-year-old man from Union County.

The Governor said there is one deceased veteran at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center (THVC) in Wilmore who was previously listed as recovered, but has since died.

“That is a total of 31 veteran deaths from COVID-19 at THVC. It’s simply heartbreaking. We still have two active cases of COVID-19 in veterans at THVC,” said Gov. Beshear. “In addition, the veteran who became the first active case of COVID-19 at Western Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson has since died. We must do more as a community to protect these heroes.

Today, Gov. Beshear honored 76-year-old Bruce Gadansky, who passed away after a long-fought battle with the virus. On Nov. 14, Bruce left his son, Chris, a voicemail the last voicemail Chris would ever receive from his father.

As Bruce passed on, his wife and son were left to say their goodbyes, urge him on to a better tomorrow, through a phone held to his ear by a nurse. That is what COVID does to our loved ones,” said Gov. Beshear.

“Bruce was a friend to everyone, a stranger to no one. He was a man of service a U.S. Navy veteran, serving in Vietnam, who also served as deputy sheriff in Oldham County for 10 years. Bruce championed causes for the elderly during his time as vice president of operations for the Louisville Better Business Bureau, working with the FBI against consumer fraud. And he also spent his time volunteering for St. Matthews Baseball where he made friends young and old something his son will miss seeing the most. Above everything else, Bruce was a loving husband to Mickey, a father to two sons and a grandfather to five grandchildren. He was a passionate fan of baseball, bourbon, cigars and a good joke.

“What we must stress here is Bruce and Mickey did it right. They barely left the house in nine months and always wore a mask. But that’s the thing about masks it takes all of us wearing them correctly. If we do, we can prevent the loss of individuals like Bruce, and the heartbreak of his family now mourning his loss,” the governor said in paying tribute to the man.

Mark Carter, Cabinet for Health and Family Services policy advisor, also updated Kentuckians on contact tracing in Kentucky and how they can protect themselves, their families and their community.

Carter highlighted important successes: More than 1,600 contact tracing staff in the state have now completed 215,000 daily check-ins with COVID-19-positive Kentuckians to monitor symptoms and provide support. They have also contacted more than 47,000 people identified as contacts potentially exposed to the virus.

However, he also emphasized the need for greater public cooperation and renewed federal funding.

“The public health strategy for contact tracing depended on broad public participation cooperating with the local health departments when a tracer calls, wearing masks, social distancing and testing,” Carter said. “We simply haven’t had enough participation from the public and the resulting surge has overwhelmed contact tracing capacity.”

Another challenge is that federal funds from the CARES Act have made the statewide contact tracing and tracking information management system and surge staffing possible, but Congress has not taken any action on additional stimulus legislation to date.

Currently, Kentucky and all other states are required to use all CARES Act funding by Dec. 30, 2020.

The Governor said Kentuckians can find more than 350 testing locationshere.

To register for surge testing in Louisville (Kentucky Exposition Center) or Lexington (Keeneland Racecourse), visit DoINeedACOVID19Test.com. Both locations are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Finally, the Governor updated Kentuckians on the state’s vaccine distribution process, discussed in detail at yesterdays press conference. Kentuckians should visit KYCOVID19.ky.gov to view the latest information on the vaccine, including:

The Governor reminded Kentuckians that his administration is working on a public communication campaign that will launch this month to help families have even more information about the vaccine plan and process.

To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, new statewide requirements, testing locations, long-term care and other congregate facilities update, school reports and guidance, red zone counties, red zone recommendations, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit, kycovid19.ky.gov.