A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

It’s not a drill: Beshear reports cases (1,449, 3 deaths) with limited reporting, urges ‘uniting’ against COVID

Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday asked all Kentuckians to recommit to following safety guidelines as Kentucky again set a record for cases reported in one week.

The current report also represented the highest number of new cases ever reported on a Sunday.

“Coronavirus is present in every corner of the Commonwealth and it’s spreading at a truly alarming rate,” the Governor said. “This is not a drill; this is a health emergency that we all need to take seriously. Let’s come together as Team Kentucky to defeat this virus.”

Beshear reminded community leaders, schools, businesses and residents in the state’s hardest hit areas to follow the Red Zone Reduction Recommendations. Thursday’s red zone counties should follow the recommendations Monday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 22.

He reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

• New cases today: 1,449
• New deaths today: 3
• Positivity rate: 8.88%
• Total deaths: 1,661
• Currently hospitalized: 1,383
• Currently in ICU: 330
• Currently on ventilator: 156

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, Kenton and Boone.

Fayette County, which remains in the red zone, reported 210 new cases.

On Sunday, Fayette County Public Schools announced the district is pausing all athletics and extra-curricular activities with the exception of the six high school football teams who are entering the KHSAA post season next week.

“We cannot ignore that the spread of COVID-19 continues to escalate,” said Fayette County Public Schools Chief of High Schools James McMillin. “We are seeing recording breaking positivity rates and positive cases across the state and our community.”

McMillin underscored that this is a pause, and the possible resumption of student activities will be evaluated after Thanksgiving, the week of Nov. 30.

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk praised district and school leaders, athletic directors, coaches, advisors, students and families for ensuring that rigorous safety protocols have been consistently followed.

“Their vigilance has allowed us to practice, play and offer student activities for as long as we have,” Caulk said. “We have not seen any transmission on teams; the athletes and coaches who have tested positive have all been from community transmission.”

That said, Caulk noted that the significant increases in COVID-19 in Lexington are concerning.

“This decision is not a reaction to a specific incident,” he said. “Since June, we have been proactive and every decision we have made about student activities has been led by science, in order to mitigate risks to athletes, coaches and families. The science tells us now that we should hit the pause button. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.”

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 93-year-old woman from Fayette County and an 84-year-old woman and an 85-year-old man from Oldham County.

“Kentucky’s state motto is ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall.’ This motto has never been more applicable than now, as we fight the most deadly pandemic in over 100 years,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “Unless Kentuckians come together, we will continue on this dangerous trajectory with disastrous consequences.”

As we end yet another highest week ever of COVID-19 cases, Dr. Stack reminds everyone to watch your space, wear a mask and wash your hands in order to save your life and the lives of those around you.

Reporting is limited on Sundays.

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