A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 3,601 cases and 37 deaths (a record), everyone must help to make a difference

Gov. Andy Beshear announced record new COVID-19 deaths and the sixth-highest day for new COVID-19 cases. With the 37 deaths reported Wednesday, the Governor has reported the loss of 72 Kentuckians in the last two days alone as the Commonwealth rapidly approaches 2,000 deaths.

Fayette County reported 219 cases and three deaths.

The White House Report for Kentucky said, “The COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high. We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall.

“New orders put in place by the Governor should result in a rapid decrease in transmission if compliance is high.”

“We’ve got the foremost experts in the country saying we’ve got a winning game plan,” said Beshear. “The question is, is everybody going to do their part to execute that game plan? We can stop this surge. It’s in our hands. I certainly am going to try my best each and every day.”

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, updated Kentuckians on projections for hospitalizations in December and January, which vary depending on statewide compliance with recent COVID-19 restrictions.

“Even when researchers at the University of Louisville analyze and look at the data and do their own modeling, they are finding, like others are in other places, that these measures are likely to reduce substantially the number of people in hospitals,” said Stack. “And remember, some of those people go into the ICU, some of those people are on ventilators – those can have long-term debilitating effects – and of course, some of them die. Every time we choose to disregard the guidance, we will see more people get infected, more strain on our hospitals and more loss.”

Case Information

Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 3,601
New deaths today: 37
Positivity rate: 9.62%
Total deaths: 1,980
Currently hospitalized: 1,768
Currently in ICU: 427
Currently on ventilator: 234

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Boone, Hardin, Kenton and Warren. Each of these counties reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 686.

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 61-year-old man from Allen County; an 80-year-old woman and two men, ages 49 and 94, from Boone County; an 82-year-old man from Campbell County; a 90-year-old woman and four men, ages 48, 61, 62 and 93, from Daviess County; an 86-year-old woman and two men, ages 74 and 86, from Fayette County; a 62-year-old woman from Floyd County; two women, ages 71 and 90, from Franklin County; an 84-year-old man from Graves County; a 70-year-old woman from Grayson County; a 58-year-old man from Hardin County; a 46-year-old woman from Henderson County; an 88-year-old man from Hopkins County; two women, ages 83 and 96, and an 87-year-old man from Jefferson County; three men, ages 67, 74 and 90, from Jessamine County; two women, ages 81 and 82, and an 85-year-old man from Kenton County; two women, both 61, from McLean County; a 95-year-old woman from Monroe County; a 59-year-old woman from Montgomery County; an 85-year-old man from Ohio County; an 82-year-old man from Trigg County; and a 46-year-old man from Warren County.

Sixteen Kentuckians whose deaths were reported today were residents in long-term care facilities.

The Governor reminded Kentuckians of the toll rising case numbers are taking on hospitals. Today, King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland will be using their Lexington Avenue Lobby as an overflow area for the emergency department.

A hospital spokesman told WYMT, “That lobby is right beside our ER, and we are seeing near record patient volume. We need the space to accommodate all our patients safely.”

Corrections Update

Secretary of the Executive Cabinet, J. Michael Brown, updated Kentuckians on COVID-19 in the commonwealth’s 14 correctional facilities. Since the outset of the pandemic, there have been 2,706 inmate COVID-19 cases (310 are still active) and 425 corrections staff cases (82 are still active).

“We have lost 19 inmates due to complications from COVID-19 – including two deaths reported today; and two staff members,” said Secretary Brown. “The second outbreak that is underway at the Kentucky State Reformatory has hit the area we dreaded most, the prison’s Nursing Care Facility, which was not touched during the first outbreak at the prison this summer.

“On the positive side, our active cases among inmates have actually dropped, meaning that the testing and rapid detection of the virus in the population is enabling us to protect more people.”

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