Kentucky Health NewsAs Kentucky reported the second-highest daily number of coronavirus cases Saturday, state officials scrambled to get local health departments to enforce Gov. Andy Beshear’s new restrictions on businesses.
Beshear said in a news release and Facebook video that the 3,711 new cases are an escalating threat to “the health-care capacity in this state. That’s why we’re taking action and that’s why we’re fighting back.”
Staley said the guidance was sent to all health departments.
The Traveler’s Lantern and Cafe in Trenton, in Todd County, also defied the order. County Health Director Jennifer Harris told the Todd County Standard, “I don’t feel like we have a choice but to enforce. There is a process we are going to have to go through.”
Richard Hayhoe, owner of Bean’s Cafe in Dry Ridge, told Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV that the order against restaurants was unfair, and customers should be able to dine inside if they think that is best for them: “Please, Frankfort, you don’t need to tell everybody what they must and must not do.”
Staley noted research that shows restaurants are major sources of virus transmission, and restrictions imposed by governors in other states.
Health Commissioner Steven Stack, a physician, said in the news release, “Kentucky, and much of the nation, is in a dangerous place right now. Stay home. Stay home with only your own household as much as possible. If you must leave your home, wear a mask every time you are in public and stay as physically far away from others as possible. This is necessary for you, your loved ones and the most vulnerable Kentuckians who depend on us all.”
Beshear reported 21 more deaths from covid-19, raising the state’s toll to 1,783. He said one, a 58-year-old man in Barren County, worked in a long-term-care facility.
The other fatalities were three Jefferson County men, ages 43, 72 and 83; two Jefferson County women, 67 and 73; a Bullitt County man, 79; a Carter County man, 80; a Monroe County woman, 79; three Pike County women, 73, 75 and 90; an 80-year-old Pike County man; a 76-year-old and 91-year-old from Madison County, genders unspecified; two Jessamine County man, 86 and 90; a Lewis County man, 75; two McCracken County man, 87 and 92; and McLean County woman, 94.
Beshear took note of the high number of new cases, 171, in Oldham County, and may have had Marshall County on his mind, noting the 27 new cases there, much fewer than the others he noted.
Counties with more than 10 new cases on the state’s daily report were: Jefferson, 573; Fayette, 268; Oldham, 171; Boyd, 159; Hardin, 139; Kenton, 118; Boone, 109; McCracken, 94; Warren, 86; Lee, 76; Campbell, 74; Nelson, 67; Christian, 62; Daviess, 55; Bullitt, 54; Madison, 53; Graves, 50; Calloway, 42; Logan, 40; Jessamine, 38; Shelby, 38; Clark, 37; Marion, 36; Pike, 36; Henderson, 34; Floyd, 33; Greenup, 33; Perry, 28; Marshall, 27; Hopkins, 26; Carter, 25; Knox, 25; Barren, 24; Boyle, 24; Franklin, Laurel, Pendleton, Powell, Pulaski and Taylor, 23 each; Grayson, 22; Green, Letcher, Mason, Muhlenberg and Simpson, 20; Whitley, 19; Hart and Ohio, 18 each; Magoffin, Montgomery and Woodford, 17; Grant and Harlan, 16; Fleming, LaRue and Rowan, 15 each; Meade, 14; Clay, Edmonson, Garrard, Johnson, Knott, Morgan and Union, 13; and Bath, Bell, Butler, Estill, Henry, McLean, Metcalfe, Washington and Wolfe, 11 each.
The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the coronavirus in the last seven days was 9.14 percent, the average for the last five days.
- In Lexington, “While a number of congregations are complying with Gov. Andy Beshear’s request to halt in-person worship services through Dec. 13, others are reluctant to return to having only virtual services,” Karla Ward reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.
- Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton limited state courts to remote proceedings conducted by computer video, postponed jury trials until at least Feb. 1 and said grand juries will be conducted remotely or suspended for the duration, after “some judges were still holding in-person proceedings in ‘red zone’ counties,” John Cheves reports for the Herald-Leader. He notes “a covid-19 outbreak among Boyle County courthouse employees and infected Daviess County deputy court clerks.”