Beshear urges Kentuckians to wear masks following record week

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday said Kentuckians must wear masks to prevent further spread of the coronavirus as cases continue to rise across Kentucky and rest of the nation.


“This week has been a tough week, with three out of the five highest days for new COVID-19 cases,” he said.  “This virus is everywhere. It is in your community.  We need every community doing what it takes to defeat it.”


It also means a new weekly record for cases, with one more day to go.


The governor will finish his two-week quarantine on Saturday as he, the first lady and their two children, have now tested negative for the virus four times. 


“Wear a mask. It saves lives.  I’ve now tested negative four straight times after sitting in the passenger seat next to someone driving who was infectious with COVID,” said Gov. Beshear.  “I was wearing a mask.  He was wearing a mask.  That shows you that it works.”


The driver, a member of the governor’s security detail, has shown only minor symptoms, according to Beshear.


Looking at Friday’s numbers, 1,457 new cases of the coronavirus were reported to state health officials.  That brings the total number of cases in Kentucky, since the first one was confirmed on March 6, to 93,748.


The highest number of new cases by county were 312 in Jefferson County, 112 in Fayette County, 60 in Warren County, 47 in Hardin County and 35 in Barren County.


A total of 819 Kentuckians were hospitalized on Friday with COVID-19, which is up from 800 on Thursday.  205 of them were in the ICU, down from Thursday’s 214.  The number on a ventilator was reported to be 97, a decrease from Thursday’s 105.


The state’s positivity rate on Friday stood at 5.34%, representing an increase from the 5.30% reported the previous day.


Friday’s new deaths totaled 16, lower than Thursday’s 17 and Wednesday’s 21.  That now makes 1,396 Kentuckians who have lost their lives, at least in part, due to COVID.


The newly reported deaths include a 69-year-old woman from Boyd County; two women, ages 77 and 84, from Daviess County; a 71-year-old woman from Fayette County; three women, ages 84, 101 and 102, and three men, ages 73, 76 and 84, from Jefferson County; a 64-year-old man from Knott County; an 87-year-old woman from Lee County; an 84-year-old woman from Leslie County; a 75-year-old woman from Logan County; an 86-year-old woman from Marshall County; and an 80-year-old man from Todd County.


After finishing quarantine on Saturday, Gov. Beshear says he plans to resume doing his press briefings in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday at 4 p.m. 


Taking a wider view of the pandemic, Johns Hopkins University is reporting 42,020,333 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, along with 1,140.953.  In the United States, there have been 8,468,802 confirmed cases, and 223,730 deaths.


For more information on the coronavirus and the response in Kentucky, including guidance for Halloween, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

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