A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports record numbers of daily COVID cases, 1,163, and 7 deaths; issues travel advisory

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

A record number of daily cases of the coronavirus was reported on Wednesday with more than a thousand, along with the deaths of seven more Kentuckians.

Gov. Andy Beshear had mentioned on Monday, when there were only 245 new cases, that the lower number had to be taken with a grain of salt. He noted that a technical issue with the state’s data processor caused a delay in some reporting, leading to lower numbers that would be updated later this week.

Gov. Beshear

That happened on Wednesday, as 1,163 new cases were reported, 39 of which involved children five years of age and younger. When all duplicates were removed, that brings the number of cases in Kentucky to 36,945. Despite the high number of new cases, because of the large quantity of tests performed, the state’s positivity rate actually dropped to 5.62, based on a rolling seven-day average.

“We set a record that we didn’t want to set,” Beshear said during a Capitol press briefing.  “We never wanted to get over a thousand cases.”

There were also seven more deaths reported, raising the total to 790 Kentuckians lost to the virus. 

They included a 71-year-old man from Barren County; a 73-year-old woman from Christian County; a 75-year-old woman from Fayette County; two women, ages 85 and 87, from Jefferson County; a 71-year-old man from Meade County; and an 80-year-old man from Oldham County.

The governor said he was feeling better a day after he and first lady Britainy Beshear felt ill and the family was tested for the coronavirus.

“I am happy to report that both the First Lady and I, and our kids, and everybody that’s working around us tested negative for COVID yesterday, but we tried to take every precaution that we would want other people to take.”

He also thanked Kentuckians for their outpouring of support, which included calls and emails to the Governor’s office.

Beshear offered an update on his administration’s travel advisory, which recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for Kentuckians who travel to states and U.S. territories that are reporting a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15 percent.

There are currently nine states meeting this threshold, including Washington State, Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, and Arizona.

The governor reiterated his recommendation to schools issued on Monday, asking them to wait until September 28 to begin in-person classes, saying it was a tough decision to make, but safety was his main consideration.

“It’s tough, because as a parent, I desperately want to get my kids back in class,” he said. “Distance learning is not the same. My kids are of the age where they are losing out on important developmental opportunities, where not going back to school impacts their emotional health. I’m sure they have fallen behind in many of their classes.”

He says he made his recommendation, “Because I have a responsibility.  My responsibility as the Governor of Kentucky to make the toughest calls, and to take whatever comes with it.” 

Beshear added, he would only take the step of ordering a school system closed if they had a major outbreak and took no action, or tried to hide it from health officials.

Beshear said he plans to hold his next press briefing at 4 p.m. Thursday.

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