Over 4,000 COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, 208 deaths

Gov. Andy Beshear said at his Sunday coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing that over 200 new cases have been diagnosed since Saturday afternoon.

Beshear said 202 new cases of the virus were confirmed over the previous 24 hours, increasing the state’s total to 4,074 cases. The governor reported three new deaths, raising Kentucky’s death toll to 208 (5.1 percent).

The new deaths were two women, both 88-years-old, from Adair County, and an 88-year-old woman from Jackson County.

“They are people that are truly missed by their friends and by their family,” Beshear said. “Let’s make sure we give them just as much effort tonight, lighting our homes up green and our places of business. Let’s make sure that we ring bells tomorrow at 10 a.m. These are three Kentuckians we’ve lost, and we need to show that color of compassion.”

Beshear said 45 Kentucky counties reported new cases over the previous 24 hours, including nearby Hopkins, Butler, Edmonson, Breckinridge, Hardin, and Meade counties. Additionally, Warren County led the state with 35 new cases, Jefferson County reported 28 and Muhlenberg County 14.

Jefferson County leads the state with 1,120 cases, with Fayette County reporting 238 cases. Kenton County is third in the state with 227 COVID-19 cases, and Warren County is fourth in the state with 219 cases.

Nearby counties and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are as follows: Hopkins (183), Muhlenberg (111), Butler (104), Ohio (38), Hardin (35), Edmonson (15), Breckinridge (8), Meade (7), Hancock (6), Hart (2),

According to health officials, 1,274 (31.3 percent) victims have been hospitalized with the disease, while 308 people are currently being treated in a hospital. Six-hundred-eight (14.9 percent) victims have been treated in ICU with 166 victims currently in intensive care.

Beshear said 48,474 people have been tested in Kentucky, and 1,511 (37.1 percent) victims have recovered.

Testing update

The governor said 11 testing locations across the state will be open this week, with two locations in Louisville and Lexington, and single sites in Bowling Green, Cadiz, Hazard, Hopkinsville, Mt. Vernon, Murray, and Owensboro.

“This week we have more testing statewide than we have ever had before,” the governor said.

Reopening of some medical services

Beshear says Kentucky will begin the reopening process on Monday with non-urgent/emergent healthcare services, and diagnostic radiology. Lab services will also reopen in hospital outpatient settings, healthcare clinics and medical offices, physical therapy settings and chiropractor offices, optometrists, and dental offices.

“Tomorrow is the first day since this virus hit that instead of adding restrictions, we are reopening some areas,” Beshear said. “We are starting with health care for some very simple reasons. First, people have not been able to go in to some types of visits and important appointments to keep themselves healthy. And people can grow unhealthy or have other issues that are unrelated to COVID-19.

“Second, we need to get our health care industry moving again because as we want to test more people we will need our health care industry to be operating at a greater level to make that happen,” he added. “And third, in thinking about how to do this gradually in a way that protects people, in a way that we can always take a temperature as we move forward, health care is the place to start.”

Beshear says the phased reopening of health care services is the first step under the Healthy at Work initiative he introduced to help businesses restart operations safely when the time is right.

The initiative set out public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy.

This guidance does not apply to long-term care settings, prisons and other industries or other settings for which separate guidance has already or will be provided in the future. This guidance also does not apply to elective surgeries or procedures, which will be addressed in a subsequent phase.

Dr. Steven Stack, Department for Public Health Commissioner, emphasized that this is a phased, gradual reopening of services and that a COVID-19 surge may require adjustment.

For full guidance on criteria for reopening and new best practices, click here.

“This week we have more testing statewide than we have ever had before,” the governor said.

Census update

Beshear reminds Kentuckians can fill out their Census at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

Additional information

Read key updates, actions and information from Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

Contact Ken at ken@k105.com