Two weeks after the Derby, held on a Labor Day weekend, Kentucky has its second highest number of coronavirus cases

Kentucky reported 1,002 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, the largest one-day total yet, except for the 1,163 new cases reported Aug. 12.

“Today’s report shows that when we let our guard down, this virus truly spreads,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release. “This is everywhere, and we must keep our guard up. The only positive news in today’s report is our positivity rate is still under 4 percent.”

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days is 3.82%. It has spent most of the week under 4%, a level it last reached more than two months ago. A rate of 5% or more puts a state or locality in a federal danger zone.

Emma Austin of the Courier Journal notes, “The high case count comes two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and Labor Day weekend, about the length of time health officials said it would take for the state to know if the holiday would result in another spike — similar to what was seen after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.”

Saturday’s cases brought the state’s total to 61,106. Of the newly reported cases, 145 were in Kentuckians 18 and younger.

“Remember, high number of cases lead to a higher number of deaths several weeks down the line,” Beshear said. “Now that our kids are going to be going back to school in many places in some form or fashion, now that we have more sports, let’s make sure that we cut our contacts, wear our masks and socially distance. Let’s do better – everyone around us is depending on it.”

Beshear reported seven more deaths Saturday, bringing the state’s toll to 1,108.

The fatalities were an 82-year-old woman from Lincoln County; a 78-year-old woman from Warren County; an 89-year-old woman from Boyd County; a 76-year-old woman from Martin County; a 66-year-old woman from Mercer County; and a 71-year-old woman and a 91-year-old man from Jefferson County.

Health Commissioner Steven Stack said in the release, “The first official day of fall is fast approaching, and the weather that has descended this weekend over Kentucky will cause a lot of us to want to spend time outdoors. If you get outside, please keep following the same advice we’ve given since the pandemic began. Stay at least six feet from others, wear a mask and wash your hands often. As we prepare to begin a new season, let’s recommit to our efforts to prevent further spread of covid-19. Let’s start the fall season off right, Team Kentucky.”

In other covid-19 news Saturday:

  • Counties with more than 10 new cases: Jefferson, 187; Fayette, 140; Madison, 64; Warren, 39; Union, 31; Christian, 27; Henderson, 27; Estill, 24; Boone, 23; Oldham, 23; Kenton, 21; Daviess, 20; Clay, 18; Hardin, 16; Campbell, 14; McCracken, 14; Greenup, 13; Knott, 12; Laurel 11 1.10 Pulaski 11
  • The state’s daily report said 496 people were hospitalized for covid-19 in Kentucky, 114 of them in intensive care.
  • Young adults are spreading the virus—but not mainly because of parties and bars,” National Geographic reports. They “are blamed for the pandemic’s spread, but also face the brunt of the transmission risk that comes with keeping the economy going.”
  • Natalie Compton of The Washington Post reports how to enjoy fall activities despite the pandemic, including leaf viewing and visits to farmers’ markets, orchards and pumpkin patches.