Reported cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky are the highest they’ve been as new red zone recommendations went into effect in more than half of the state’s 120 counties Monday.
Two weeks ago the state hit a weekly pandemic high of 9,335 cases. Last week the state shattered that record with 11,700 reported cases —a 25% increase week over week.
“Our actions or inactions are resulting in the type of loss that in my life is inconceivable and is going to exceed most every major war in the standpoint of loss of Kentuckians,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.
The state again reported its highest daily total for a Monday with 1,032 cases on a day when labs ordinarily report fewer cases due to scheduling.
- 1,032 new cases (109,670 total cases since pandemic started)
- 988 people hospitalized
- 270 in ICU 142 on ventilators
- 6.25% positivity rate
- 3 more people have died (1,470 total)
Monday was also the first day 68 counties around the state were supposed to begin following the state’s “Red-Zone Reduction Recommendations.”
The recommendations are a series of guidelines Gov. Beshear is promoting to limit the spread of the virus in counties where transmission is greater than 25 cases per 100,000 residents.
Per the state’s website they include:
- Employers allow employees to work from home when possible
- Non-critical Government offices to operate virtually
- Reduce in-person shopping; order online or curbside pickup
- Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars
Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce mask mandate and other guidelines
- Reschedule, postpone or cancel public and private events
- Do not host or attend gatherings of any size
- Avoid non-essential activities outside of your home
- Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance, including 10 steps to defeat COVID-19
The recommendations for red counties will be revised on a week-to-week basis, Beshear said. His administration will announce the following week’s guidance on Thursdays. The recommendations will take effect on Mondays.
The recommendations build upon other orders the state has put in place including the mask mandate, 50% capacities in bars, restaurants, gyms and retail shops and limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
In all red counties including Jefferson, Fayette and Warren, Beshear encouraged residents to follow the guidance and cancel all public and private events — one day before the 2020 election.
“If you are in a red zone county, we need everybody following these recommendations, otherwise this escalation continues,” Beshear said.