FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - There was a big drop in deaths due to COVID-19 on Friday, with the number of new cases and the positivity rate also seeing declines.
Thursday’s daily record total of 58 deaths, was followed by 36 on Friday, a drop of 22. Still, that means there have now been 3,337 Kentuckians who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus.
The ages of the latest victims ranged from 51 to 98. Eight of them were from Oldham County; Jefferson County had seven; Daviess and Perry counties each had six; Anderson and Lawrence counties each had three; while Graves, Hopkins, and Letcher counties had one apiece.
The number of new cases reported to state public health officials, which stood at 3,728 on Thursday, fell by nearly 1,000 on Friday, to 2,756.
Three counties had more than 100 new cases: Jefferson 445, Fayette 260 and Bullitt 167. The rest of the top ten counties were Warren 98, Daviess 96, Kenton 89, Boone 82, Christian 55, Campbell 54 and Oldham with 49.
The total number of positive cases of the coronavirus in the state has now risen to 340,779.
Kentucky’s positivity rate also continues to decrease, and is now below 11%. On Friday, it was 10.80%, which is the lowest since Jan. 2, according to state health officials.
“Folks, there’s a pretty simple reason why I think our cases are declining, and that’s because I see you all doing the hard work,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I see people wearing masks now more than ever and engaging in social distancing when they can. Keep it up. We are going to beat this virus in 2021. We’ve just got to protect everyone until we get there.”
Earlier in the day, he visited Broadbent Arena in Louisville, where 1,200 Jefferson County Public Schools teachers and staff were vaccinated on Friday. Kentucky is among only 19 U.S. states, and is the only state in the region, that continues to prioritize vaccinations for all K-12 school employees. In addition, Kentucky is the only state with plans to finish the first round of these vaccinations by the end of the first week in February. Originally, they had hoped to begin vaccinating teachers and staff on Feb. 1.
During the event, Beshear noted that educators and school staffers have stepped up in countless ways to help during this pandemic. “The entire Commonwealth owes all our teachers, bus drivers and school staff a tremendous debt of gratitude. Now, once again, they are answering the call as we prioritize their vaccinations in an effort to get our schools fully reopened. On behalf of everyone in the Commonwealth, we thank you.”
On Friday afternoon, accompanied by first lady Britainy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, he participated in a ceremony on the State Capitol grounds, where over 3,300 American flags were placed in the ground in memory of the Kentuckians who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.
To view the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, vaccine distribution, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.
Gov. Beshear’s next scheduled live press briefing will me Monday afternoon at 4, although his office is expected to send out daily reports on the coronavirus numbers throughout the weekend.