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Gov. Andy Beshear announces 583 new COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths on Saturday; now 22,184 in Kentucky

This map from the Kentucky Department of Public Health shows the total number of people who have been tested positive for COVID-19 by county as of Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Click for larger image)

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The second-highest daily total of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky were reported on Saturday, continuing the rising trend of recent days.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 583 new cases, bringing the total to at least 22,184 since the first case on March 6.

The highest daily number was 625 on May 5, nearly half of which were reported at Green River Correctional Complex. The third highest was 576 this past Tuesday, while Friday saw the 4th highest at 531.

“That means this is a dangerous time and it can’t be explained away by our increase in tests,” Beshear said. “We’ve got to be careful. We’ve got to make sure that we are wearing our facial coverings, because today’s cases are a reflection of 14 days ago before we mandated those. This is what it’s going to take if we want to save our economy and save lives and get our kids back in school; it’s really that simple.”

As of Saturday, there have been at least 529,481 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 4.66%. At least 6,824 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

The Governor also reported nine new deaths Saturday, making it 667 Kentuckians lost to the virus. They include a 93-year-old woman from Jefferson County; three women, ages 78, 80 and 81, and two men, ages 83 and 96, from Logan County; an 88-year-old woman from Shelby County; a 64-year-old man from Simpson County; and a 76-year-old woman from Warren County.

“Consistency is incredibly important as we strive to avoid straining our health system,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack. “Weekends offer additional opportunities to socialize and go out in public. If you do, practice Healthy at Home and Healthy at Work guidelines. Wear a face covering. Maintain a social distance of at least six feet from people outside your household. Wash your hands. And, if a contact tracer calls, please answer. These steps get us back to work, school and play.”

On Friday, the Governor highlighted many national retailers and small businesses that are now requiring customers to wear masks while shopping, in order to protect the health and safety of all customers and staff members. The Kentucky Supreme Court also weighed in Friday, unanimously stopping lower court decisions which voided executive orders, from taking effect.

Local elected officials like Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley have also shared their support.

“I’ve been encouraged to see near 100 percent compliance since Gov. Beshear implemented what was needed to protect our people,” Mosley said. “With 85 new cases in one week in our county compared to 40 over the last four months, we owe it to our loved ones to try even harder. Just like many of us own a weapon to protect our families from intruders into our homes, a mask is our weapon to keep the coronavirus from intruding into our lives as well.”

You can read more about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration related to the coronavirus pandemic at kycovid19.ky.gov.

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