A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 619 new COVID cases, 5 deaths; considering more commutations of prisoners

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 619 new COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday afternoon and five deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 28,727 cases and 724 deaths.

Fayette County had 64 cases and Scott County had 18 cases.

“The Commonwealth is at war with the coronavirus. It’s going to take how long it takes. But we know if we don’t put our best effort forward, it will take the lives of our people, it will hurt our economy and it will impact the education that our kids get,” said Beshear. “This is probably the most significant challenge that most of us will face in our lifetimes. We’ve got to come together as a state. We all have to do what it takes.”

Seventeen of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger.

Gov. Andy Beshear

“It’s another day of tough news that we’re seeing across the country: whether it is Dr. Fauci warning that a number of states including us are poised for a significant outbreak or high and even record-breaking numbers just to the south and all the way around us,” said Beshear. “That’s why we’re acting decisively. If we plateau again, it’s because of the hard work and willingness of people to wear facial coverings.”

The deaths reported Wednesday include an 87-year-old woman from Clay County; an 82-year-old man from Graves County; a 77-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 58-year-old woman from Knott County; and a 71-year-old man from McCracken County.

“Let’s make sure we stop the spread because we know what follows high cases are high death counts,” said Beshear. “None of us, none of us, want to see that. Stopping this virus is what we do for those five families hurting today.”

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 609,989 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.81%. At least 7,495 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Corrections Update

J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Governor’s executive cabinet, gave an update on COVID-19 cases in Kentucky’s correctional facilities. There are currently 379 active inmate cases and 53 active staff cases; 432 inmates have recovered and 69 staffers have recovered. In total, eight inmates have died due to complications from COVID-19.

Brown added that the Governor was considering commuting the sentences of more offenders who are at least 65 years old and near the end of their sentences.

“We have released right at 1,200 inmates from our previous round of commutations and we’re currently in the process of screening another 700 inmates to see if they qualify based on those criteria,” said Brown.

The list of medically vulnerable inmates who could be considered for sentence commutation is still being compiled.

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