Little change in COVID cases, positivity rate; no update for bars, restaurants yet

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state is not quite ready to further ease restrictions on bars and restaurants, despite a move in Indiana, Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday.

The comments came during the govern’r daily coronavirus briefing.

He also said the state still is working on Halloween guidelines but hopes families and groups will start developing their own guidelines based on standards and recommendations already in place for other gatherings, such as individually wrapping candy, keeping kids distanced even when trick-or-treating or at homes, and holding events outside.

“Let’s be thinking about what we can do for others at all times during this virus. This is a time that takes more compassion than any in my lifetime, and that’s with every challenge we face right now,” said Beshear. “Let’s remember that we’ve got to listen to each other and we’ve got to help each other.”

Beshear reported 745 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 64,158. Of the new cases, 107 were from children ages 18 and younger, 20 of which were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was just 6 days old.

“Again, it seems like we are seeing a larger and larger and larger portion of positive cases being our young people,” said Beshear.

Unfortunately, he reported 13 new deaths, raising the total to 1,137 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths include a 97-year-old woman from Bell County; an 86-year-old woman from Christian County; a 96-year-old woman from Fayette County; two women, ages 90 and 97, from Jefferson County; an 82-year-old man from Perry County; and four women, ages 62, 84, 89 and 94, and three men, ages 69, 87 and 88, from Warren County.

“The toughest part of today’s report – 13 new deaths. These are 13 individuals whose families will be mourning them. It’s a hard number for any given day; 13 individuals. And not on here is a friend of mine from Northern Kentucky who I just learned about an hour and a half ago had passed away after a multimonth battle with COVID-19,” said Beshear. “Let’s remember this virus is very, very real and it’s still out there. So let’s make sure that we light our homes up green, we ring those bells at 10 a.m. and that we try to reach out to these families who may be needing help.”

As of Thursday, there have been at least 1,301,407 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.57%, and at least 11,570 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

He cited a jump in cases in secondary schools with the number of active cases in schools now at 577 among students and 288 among teachers and staff with 527 schools now reporting at least one cases associated with the school.

At colleges and universities, 1,395 student cases and 45 faculty cases are active.

When asked if the state was considering easing rules for bars and restaurants since Indiana’s governor authorized bars abnd restaurants to go back to pre-pandemic rules effective Saturday, Beshear said he wasn’t prepared to go there yet.

“We have to get our schools open first and see some other things before we consider fully opening bars and restaurants,” Beshear said, adding he planned to talk with the Indiana governor about the decision.

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

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