FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Kentucky saw its third-highest number of new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, pushing the total above 50,000.
Gov. Andy Beshear told a Capitol press briefing that there were 906 new cases of COVID-19 reported to state health officials. “That includes 124 kids 18 and under. It brings our total cases not just above 50,000 but almost to 51,000 at 50,885.”
Beshear said new cases were reported in 95 counties, led by Jefferson County with 192. Warren County had 89, there were 68 in Fayette County, and Madison County had 66, rounding out the top five.
He also reported 10 deaths on Thursday, bringing the total to 976 during the pandemic, including 46 over the past four days. “This week is going to be probably the single largest week we’ve had for losing Kentuckians,” the governor said.
The deaths include a 52-year-old man from Barren County; five women, ages 60, 72, 72, 79 and 85, and two men, ages 70 and 73, from Jefferson County; and an 88-year-old woman and 76-year-old man from Lewis County.
“We have people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s on today’s report,” he stated. “These families don’t have the option of being tired. We can’t be tired either. We’ve got to be there for them.”
Despite the high number of new cases, the state’s positivity rate dipped slightly, which Beshear says is due to the large number of testing results that came in Thursday. It now stands at 4.53 percent on a rolling seven-day average, down from Wednesday’s 4.71 percent. There have been at least 902,446 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, and at least 10,547 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Dr. Steven Stack, State Public Health Commissioner, commented on reports of a vaccine being available in the fall for COVID-19, and how it will be distributed.
“The Kentucky Department of Public Health, with Kentucky Emergency Management and local health departments, is working to create our plans in partnership with the federal government, as well as state and local governments, so that when a safe and reliable vaccine is available we can deploy that in a timely manner to everyone who is eligible for it.”
He added, “I’ve said this repeatedly and I’ll say it again, there will not be a vaccine for virtually everybody this calendar year. There are some corners that cannot be cut.”
Stack also addressed newer testing methods being reported, by saying, “There’s been a lot of discussion about different types of tests, trying to get more rapid tests, and there’s some exciting science and possibilities in this. But they are not a panacea. They can be useful tools.”
Gov. Beshear also announced that about 130 Kentucky National Guard soldiers and airmen will support the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, just like they have in some form since the 1950s. The Governor said in recent years about 220 soldiers and airmen helped to provide public security during the Derby.
“This year, we’re going to have a smaller Guard presence,” said Gov. Beshear. “They’re going to operate traffic again and access control points that are not in the designated area of the organized protest. This is something that we have done every year.”
You can read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at kycovid19.ky.gov. His next scheduled press briefing is Tuesday afternoon at 4:00, Eastern Time.