Kentucky sets more records for new coronavirus cases, covid-19 hospitalizations; Beshear urges care on Halloween and next week

Ky. Health News chart; case numbers are from initial, unadjusted daily reports; click image to enlarge

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky set yet another record for cases of the novel coronavirus Friday, continuing a steady escalation, and set a record for covid-19 hospitalizations.

The state reported 1,941 new cases of the virus, raising the seven-day rolling average to another record, 1,652.

It said 974 people were hospitalized in Kentucky for covid-19, with 241 of them in intensive care and 121 of those on ventilators.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days was 6.19 percent, the highest since testing became readily available in May.

Despite another day with multiple records, or maybe because it was, Gov. Andy Beshear’s news release didn’t note the higher-than-ever numbers.

The release focused on safety this weekend and next week, when Beshear and state health officials hope schools, businesses and individuals in “red zone” counties, those averaging over 25 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, will take a cue from the state’s color-coded map and take more care.

“Beshear asked Kentuckians to make a plan now for a safe Halloween, as covid-19 cases rise across the commonwealth and the nation,” the release said, and quoted him: “Remember, the more cases, the more people in the hospital, the more people in the ICU and the more people who die. It’s time for a coordinated community effort with everybody on board. Now is the time for leadership, not for excuses.”

The state’s focus is on the 68 “red zone” counties. Its recommendations for them are:

  • Employers should let employees work from home when possible
  • Government offices that do not provide critical services need to operate virtually
  • Reduce in-person shopping; order online or pickup curbside as much as possible
  • Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars
  • Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce the mask mandate and other guidelines;
  • Reschedule, postpone or cancel public events
  • Do not host or attend gatherings of any size
  • Avoid non-essential activities outside your home
  • Reduce overall activity and contacts

“We absolutely must double down in terms of applying caution,” Health Commissioner Steven Stack said in the release. “With nearly 70 counties now in the red zone, I am pleading with you to observe both Halloween and Red Zone Reduction Recommendations. Lives and livelihoods literally depend on all of us doing our part.”

The state reported 15 more covid-19 deaths: an 88-year-old woman from Clark County; an 83-year-old man from Daviess County; two men, 39 and 89, from Fayette County; an 82-year-old man from Greenup County; a 68-year-old man from Hancock County; two men, 66 and 67, from Jefferson County; a 75-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man from Knott County; an 84-year-old man from Laurel County; a 91-year-old man from Lee County; an 86-year-old woman from Montgomery County; a 69-year-old man from Pike County; and a 67-year-old woman from Washington County.

Counties with more than 10 new cases were Jefferson, 406; Fayette, 186; Kenton, 87; Hardin, 81; Warren, 72; Campbell, 45; Boone, 42; Pike, 41; Barren, 36; Bullitt, 35; Laurel, 34; Christian, 32; Daviess, 30; Oldham, 30; McCracken, 26; Montgomery, 26; Larue, 25; Logan, 24; Shelby, 24; Nelson, 23; Henderson, 21; Monroe, 21; Jessamine, 20; Scott, 19; Madison, 18; Calloway, 17; Hopkins, 17; Whitley, 16; Bell, 15; Floyd, 15; Clay, 14; Greenup, 14; Boyle, Hart, Johnson, Washington and Woodford, 13 each; and Graves, Knott and Perry, 11 each.


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