FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Cases of the coronavirus continue to skyrocket in Kentucky, with 453 reported on Saturday, the second-highest daily total the state has seen since the pandemic started.
This edged out the previous second-highest daily total of 426, which was announced by Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday.
The highest single day total of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky was 625, which occurred on May 5. Nearly half of them, or 309, were due to an outbreak at the Green River Correctional Facility in Muhlenberg County.
There have now been at least 19,121 cases reported to public health officials in Kentucky, since the first one was announced on March 6. This came one day after the Governor’s mandatory use of marks in public order took effect.
“We have another day of really high numbers of COVID-19 cases,” Beshear said. “This is another day where it shows that we are no longer in a plateau, but cases are increasing. We must act now.”
Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack called this more evidence that the pandemic needs to be taken seriously.
“These numbers demand serious attention,” he said. “In addition to remaining at least six feet away from anyone from outside of your household, sanitizing your hands and other high-touch surfaces, this includes wearing a face covering any time you are in public or indoors, such as in grocery stores or business offices. Wearing a face covering is one of the most important steps we can take to keep our communities safe and continue on the path to reopening Kentucky.”
Dr. Stephen Stack also offered some tips for wearing face coverings most effectively. “Make sure your mask fits properly to protect individuals and others from getting sick and keep extra masks handy. If you know you’re going to be outdoors in the heat or doing any kind of activity where you might work up a sweat, bring an extra face mask.”
Two new deaths were also reported on Saturday, raising the total to 622 Kentuckians lost to the virus. Those new victims were a 69-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man, both of whom were from Jefferson County.
“We continue to lose people to this virus, and I know you know it like I know it,” Beshear said. “We’re up to 622 lives lost. That’s tough news for today. The positive news is we’re seeing better compliance and more people wearing face coverings than ever before. It’s not a political statement. It’s a statement that you care.”
He encouraged people to light up their homes, businesses and public buildings green, to honor the latest victims of COVID-19.
As of Saturday, there have been at least 475,983 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. At least 5,258 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
The governor’s mandatory face mask order issued on Thursday, includes an emergency administrative regulation, promulgated by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, on behalf of the state Department for Public Health. It is expected to be taken up Monday by the General Assembly’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.
You can find out more about the state’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, by going to the state’s website, kycovid19.ky.gov.