State reports 948 new coronavirus cases, the third most in a day, and its positive-test rate jumps toward 5% danger zone

State Department for Public Health map, relabeled by Kentucky Health News
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By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 948 new cases of the novel coronavirus Friday and a positive test rate that is inching back up toward the danger zone of 5 percent.

“This is the third highest number of positive cases we’ve ever had in a single day,”  Beshear said in his Friday news release. “Our positivity rate is also going up.”

Beshear warned early in the week that the state’s case numbers would likely increase near the end of the week after coming off a holiday weekend. He also cautioned that the effects of the holiday weekend wouldn’t be seen for several weeks.

The seven-day average of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus was 4.70% Friday, up from 4.14% Thursday and the highest since the same seven-day rate was reported Sept. 4.

“We want to make sure that we push that down and ultimately we get our cases in a downward trajectory,” Beshear said in a Facebook post.

Of today’s new cases, 151 were Kentuckians 18 and younger, 24 of them five and under. The youngest  was a 1-month-old from Jefferson County.

Beshear announced nine more covid-19 deaths Friday, raising the state’s toll to 1,044.

The fatalities were a 67-year-old woman from Barren County; an 85-year-old man from Christian County; a 62-year-old man from Hopkins County; an 82-year-old woman from Lincoln County; a 76-year-old woman from Marion County; a 58-year-old man from Oldham County; a 76-year-old man from Pulaski County; and two women, 78 and 82, from Todd County.

“Remember other people’s health and lives are on the line and we need you to do your part,” said Beshear. “Do your patriotic duty. Wear your mask. Social distance. So little is being asked of us in this crisis. It just takes a little bit to be a hero right now.”

Counties with more than 10 new cases Friday were Jefferson, 168; Fayette, 82; Warren, 73; Madison, 47; Christian, 43; Hardin, 34; Pulaski, 27; Boyd, 17; Calloway, McCracken and Nelson, 16 each; Grayson and Harlan, 15 each; Oldham, 13; Boone, Campbell, Henderson, Jackson and Marshall, 12 each; and Clinton, Daviess, Franklin and Shelby, 11 each.

In other covid-19 news Friday:

  • The daily report shows 549 people were hospitalized for covid-19 in Kentucky and 124 of them were in intensive care.
  • The long-term care report showed 51 more residents and 36 more staff have tested positive for the virus, with 523 residents and 329 staff having active cases of it. The report showed 589 resident and five staff deaths from the virus.
  • The K-12 school report showed nine more students and seven more staff had tested positive, with 384 students and 161 staff having active cases.
  • The college and university report showed 32 more students and three more staff testing positive, with 1,093 students and 49 staff having active cases.
  • The Office of Unemployment Insurance began processing the first week of FEMA’s Lost Wages Program for the weeks of July 26 to Aug. 15. Kentuckians who are eligible to received the extra $400 a week in unemployment benefits will begin receiving it in their accounts in the next two to three days, according to the release. Click here for more information about this program.
  • Eating out is riskier than other activities in the pandemic, says a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Many Americans are ignoring the need to get tested for the coronavirus after they are in high-risk situations, especially on college campuses, Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota‘s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told CBS News. CBS affiliate WKYT said health officials in Lexington have noticed the same problem.