A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor reports 371 additional COVID-19 cases; nine new deaths leaves state with 602 lost to virus


By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky has now seen more than 600 deaths due to the coronavirus, as well as a massive spike in new cases, Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Tuesday.


A total of 371 new cases, the highest total since May 5, were reported to state officials, making the pandemic total at least 17,519.


“Today is a tough day in our fight against the coronavirus,” Beshear said. “While we’ve long noted that case numbers fluctuate due to differences in reporting and that weekends often see lower tallies that sometimes catch up during the week, today’s numbers are cause for serious concern. We have worked too long and hard, and sacrificed too much, to squander the gains we have made in this fight.


“The only way to secure our safety is to recommit ourselves to doing what we all know is required of us: washing our hands frequently, staying at least six feet from others, avoiding crowds, getting tested frequently and cooperating with contact tracers if they call with information.”


Nine new deaths were reported Tuesday, raising the number to 602 Kentuckians lost to the virus.


The new deaths include a 78-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 52-year-old man from Kenton County; two women, ages 86 and 96, and two men, ages 85 and 95, from Knox County; a 70-year-old woman from Logan County; a 64-year-old woman from Mason County; and a 62-year-old man from Monroe County.


“There’s nothing more important to me than protecting the lives of Kentuckians and there’s nothing more difficult in this job than knowing that despite every effort we still have lost more than 600 of our fellow citizens to this deadly virus,” Beshear said. “Let’s light up our homes and businesses green to show our compassion for these folks, their families and their communities.”


As of Tuesday, there have been at least 445,196 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, and at least 4,841 Kentuckians have recovered from the coronavirus.


You can check out other key updates, actions and information from Beshear and his administration at kycovid19.ky.gov.

Kentucky Health News reported other COVID news:

• Kaiser Health News reports on what seniors should know before going ahead with elective procedures.

• WHAS-TV took a deep dive into the data to show which counties in Kentucky had the largest COVID-19 case increase from June to July. The top 10 counties were Bell, Casey, Clay, Fleming, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Morgan and Powell. The story includes a pdf that includes the percent of increase from June to July for every county in the state.

• “Fifty-seven former government scientists and public health officials of both parties called on Monday for a science-based approach to the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the Trump administration for marginalizing science and expertise in its response,” The Washington Post reports.

• Vox reports on why COVID-19 cases are rising, but deaths are falling. “The most important thing to understand is that this is actually to be expected. There is a long lag — as long as six weeks, experts told me — between when a person gets infected and when their death would be reported in the official tally,” Dylan Scott reports.
 
• A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of 350 adults who tested positive for the coronavirus found that only 46% of them could report recent contact with a COVID-19 patient, and most of the reported contacts were either a family member (45%) or a work colleague (34%). “Fewer than one-half of patients were aware of recent close contact with someone with covid-19, highlighting a need for increased screening, case investigation, contact tracing, and isolation of infected persons during periods of community transmission. This finding suggests that ensuring social distancing and more widespread use of cloth face coverings are warranted,” says the report.
 
• Using data it had to sue the CDC to get, The New York Times offers “the fullest look yet at the racial inequity of coronavirus.” The conclusion: “Latino and African-American residents of the United States have been three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors, according to the new data, which provides detailed characteristics of 640,000 infections detected in nearly 1,000 U.S. counties. And Black and Latino people have been nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people, the data shows.”

• A Gallup Poll taken June 22-28 found that 54% of Americans say they are worried about the lack of social distancing in their communities and that 86% of respondents said they had worn a face mask in the last week, up from 51% in early April and 79% in mid-May. That said, there still remains a 32-percentage point gap in Democrats’ and Republicans’ reported mask usage in the past week, 98% and 66% respectively. The report says this is the widest this gap has been since they started asking the question.


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