Kentucky continues to be battered by COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise to previously unimaginable heights. The commonwealth reported 1,177 new cases Sunday, bringing the state’s positivity rate to 7.24%.
Gov. Andy Beshear noted in a press release that this is the highest positivity rate in more than six months, and the highest number of cases in a week ever — by almost 500 cases.
Four more deaths were reported, including two 92-year-old men, a 77-year-old man and a 76-year-old man. More than 1,500 Kentuckians have died from coronavirus since March.
“Remember that the very basics of COVID are the more we have contact with each other, the more transmission we’re going to see,” said Kentucky Department for Public Health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack. “Now is not the time to let your guard down. We must maintain our vigilance.”
The most populous counties continue to see the highest number of new cases, but 80 of Kentucky’s 120 counties remain in the “red zone,” meaning more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents.
Beshear asked Kentuckians in those counties to follow his “red zone reduction” recommendations through next Sunday. These include allowing employees to work from home when possible, reducing in-person shopping, ordering take-out and prioritizing businesses that enforce the legally required mask mandate. The recommendations also ask Kentuckians to reschedule events, not host or attend gatherings and avoid non-essential activities outside the home.
“This virus is spreading in communities in every corner of the commonwealth, and everyone, from our businesses and schools to individuals, must do their part to stop the spread and save lives,” Beshear said. “Without each of us doing our part, the rampant spread will continue to take more Kentuckians.”
There are currently 1,102 Kentuckians hospitalized from COVID-19, including 279 in the ICU and 148 on ventilators.