Beshear braces Kentuckians for tougher days ahead

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -  Another light day in both new cases and deaths due to the coronavirus on Tuesday, but Gov. Andy Beshear warns it will not last.


“Get ready for large numbers on both cases and likely deaths the next couple of days, if not the next four or five days,” he said during a Capitol press briefing. “It’s something we ought to be prepared for, as a result of where we are right now as a Commonwealth, but also the impact of Labor Day weekend.”


Beshear said there were 273 new cases Tuesday, which brings the total to 53,319 in Kentucky, since the first case on March 6.  Of the new cases, 47 were from children ages 18 and younger, of which eight were children ages 5 and under.


There was also one death, a 79-year-old man in Lewis County, which makes 997 during the pandemic, but Beshear hinted the total will increase soon.


“Part of this is our committee that goes through and analyzes each of these to determine if they are truly a COVID-related death, also took some time off,” he said.  “So, as we sit at 997, I can tell you that there are over 20 cases in the queue, that are being looked at.  It is going to be a difficult month.”


There was a bit of good news, according to the governor, and that was the state’s positivity rate dropped  below four percent for the first time in a long time, standing at 3.91 percent on Tuesday, based on a seven-day rolling average.  “My hope is that we’ll be able to sustain that or the low fours as we go through the week, when all the information comes back in.”


While the federal prison system has approved resuming inmate visitation next month, the state has not yet announced plans to follow suit, although Beshear says it is something they are looking at.


“We’ve had some real significant outbreaks that we are trying to get control of,” he stated.  “We have allowed more calls or more Facetime, more means of communication, because we know how important that is with these families.”


Despite the recent increase in positive cases among children, State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said it’s too soon to say if there will be an increase in cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, also known as MIS-C, which follows COVID infection.  There were two cases in Kentucky early on, but none since then.


“It’s two to three months after children get infected,“ he said.  “It’s not part of the acute infection, it’s the body’s immune system becoming hyperactive at a delayed time-frame later.  As we see the number of young people increasing, if that’s going to become a bigger problem in Kentucky, we will probably see it sometime in October or November, not right away.”


More key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration on the response to the coronavirus can be seen at kycovid19.ky.gov.


He says he plans another press briefing Wednesday afternoon at 4:00, Eastern Time.

  

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