State reports 790 new coronavirus cases, lower positive-test rate

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By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

After four days with more than 800 new coronavirus cases each day, Kentucky finally dipped below that figure, but not by much. Saturday’s case count was 790.

That brought the seven-day rolling average down by five, to 710. Gov. Andy Beshear said 98 of the infections are in Kentuckians 18 and younger.

“It is critical that Kentuckians take the steps necessary to slow the spread of covid-19,” Beshear said in a press release. “We need everyone to keep gatherings to less than 10 people, wash your hands frequently, social distance and wear a mask.”

Beshear did not attend the Kentucky Derby, where attendance was largely limited to people with connections to horses on the day’s race card. “This Derby Day is very different for many reasons,” he said. “Kentuckians are battling inequities, injustice and a global health pandemic brought on by covid-19. For those who make your voice heard today, we are continuing to listen. For Kentuckians gathering today or over the holiday weekend, I ask you to please do so safely.”
The state’s daily report said the share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus dropped almost half a percentage point, to 4.22 percent.

The state Department for Public Health reported six more deaths from covid-19, raising its official death toll to 993. “Reporting from local health departments indicates the state already passed 1,000 deaths, reaching a total of at least 1,051 by Thursday,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Beshear said, “Please light your homes and places of business up green tonight to show compassion for these Kentuckians and their families.”

The fatalities were 77-year-old man from Bell County; a 67-year-old man from Madison County; a 68-year-old woman from Marion County; a 72-year-old man from Nelson County; an 80-year-old man from Scott County; and a 59-year-old man from Todd County.

Counties with more than 10 new cases were Jefferson, 198; Warren, 99; Fayette, 73; Madison, 33; Daviess, 16; Kenton, 15; Laurel, 14; Hardin, 13; Boone, Lewis, Nelson, Oldham and Union, 12 each; Greenup and McCracken, 11 each; and Boyd and Henderson, 10 each.
The state reported 24 more coronavirus cases each among students and employees in K-12 schools, making for 324 active cases in students and 133 in employees. At colleges and universities, the official state list, which lags several days behind local reports, had were 52 more in students and nine in staff, making for active-case totals of 749 and 36, respectively.
In other covid-19 news Saturday:

  • As Kentucky nears its 1,000th official covid-19 death, Bill Estep and Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader report on the pain suffered by families of victims.
  • The Nelson County Jail has had an outbreak of covid-19 cases. As of Aug. 29, last Saturday, 35 of the 119 inmates and 10 deputies had tested positive; most have been asymptomatic, Jailer Buck Snellen told the county Fiscal Court, reports The Kentucky Standard.
  • Bardstown Independent Schools will begin in-person classes Tuesday, while offering the option of online learning. Supt. Ryan Clark cited “an encouraging decline” in coronavirus cases, The Kentucky Standard reportsNelson County Schools still plan to start in-person classes Sept. 28.
  • The Beechmont Neighborhood Association in Louisville is using a a $31,000 Community Challenge grant from AARP to create a more pedestrian-friendly main street, public-space seating and street lighting” to adapt to the pandemic, Nadia Ramlagan of Public News Service reports in KyForward. “In Lexington, residents and urban planners are also working to tailor the city’s open spaces for a pandemic future, and held a public webinar last week to discuss plans for local parks, trails and other public areas. . . . According to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outdoor spaces that allow people to remain six feet apart combined with mask-wearing is the most effective way to curb spread of the coronavirus.”