Over 3,600 new COVID cases, 30 deaths. Beshear asks church leaders to suspend in-person services.

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday reported a record-high 3,649 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Kentucky over the previous 24 hours.

The new cases increase the state’s COVID-19 victim count to 148,390.

According to Beshear, Kentucky has experienced a 400 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in Kentucky over the past nine weeks. In November, the state has recorded 41,171 COVID-19 infections, and the top five days for coronavirus cases have occurred during November.

As of Thursday, 112 of Kentucky’s 120 counties were deemed “red zones,” signaling a “critical” spread of the virus, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Grayson County, with 51.4 cases per day per 100,000 residents over the last seven days, remains securely in the “red.” COVID-19 cases in Edmonson County have exploded over the last week, as the bordering county has had 99.9 cases per day per 100,000 residents.

“This is exponential growth,” Beshear said. “It’s continuing to grow and will continue to grow; it’s our job to stop it.”

Officials reported 30 deaths, raising the commonwealth’s coronavirus death toll to 1,742 (1.2 percent fatality rate).

Those reported lost to the virus on Thursday include a 93-year-old man from Boone County; a 75-year-old man from Breckinridge County; a 73-year-old woman from Calloway County; a 79-year-old man from Campbell County; a 94-year-old woman and a 79-year-old man from Daviess County; two men, ages 67 and 77, from Fayette County; a 67-year-old man from Gallatin County; a 70-year-old woman from Graves County; an 80-year-old woman from Hopkins County; three women, ages 53, 69 and 96, and two men, ages 70 and 95, from Jefferson County; five women, ages 75, 86, 90, 95 and 96, and three men, ages 64, 77 and 96, from Kenton County; a 73-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man from Lee County; a 69-year-old woman from McCracken County; two women, ages 92 and 96, from Monroe County; and an 89-year-old woman from Rockcastle County.

The rolling seven-day positivity rate, for the third straight day, topped nine percent, as the metric checked in at 9.18 percent.

Hospitalizations fell by three patients to 1,550, and intensive care patients fell by one to 35. Victims on ventilators rose by 23 people to 199.

Since the onset of the pandemic, 9,163 (6.2 percent) people have been hospitalized, with 2,303 (1.6 percent) patients treated in intensive care.

At least 25,437(17.1 percent) Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, and 2,519,768 COVID-19 tests have been administered in the state.

Beshear asks religious leaders to suspend in-person services

Beshear, in an effort to mitigate potentially super-spreader events, asked religious leaders to suspend in-person services until December 13.

He made his request during a call with the Kentucky Council of Churches.

“This is a request from the governor, not a mandate, and it seems perfectly reasonable given the situation we are in with COVID-19,” said Kent Gilbert, president of the Kentucky Council of Churches and pastor of Union Church in Berea.

Gilbert said during a regular call the governor participates in every two weeks with the Council of Churches, Beshear told the group of 35 instances in the commonwealth where houses of worship became super-spreaders of the virus. Not all the super-spreader events were the result of church services, though, as some were funerals, weddings and other church-related activities.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

Contact Ken at ken@k105.com

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