FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Kentucky saw its second-highest number of new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday along with the second-highest numbers of deaths.
During a virtual press briefing from the Governor’s Mansion, where Gov. Andy Beshear and his family have been in quarantine since one of his security detail tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, the governor said there were 1,487 new positive cases reported to state public health officials.
“When you think of 1,487, remember a certain percentage are going to end up in the hospital, a certain percentage are going to end up in the ICU, a certain percentage won’t make it,” Beshear said. “More cases, more [people who won’t make it, more people who will suffer what appear to be long-term health complications. We must do better.”
Of the new cases 186 are among those who are 18 years of age and younger and brings the total number of cases in Kentucky to 90,996, since the first was reported on March 6.
Jefferson County had 346 of the new cases, Hardin County 75, Kenton County 53, Boone County 45, and Fayette County with 42, made up the top five.
The high number in Kenton and Boone counties, is due in part proximity to Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River, according to Beshear. “Hamilton County, which Cincinnati is in, is having a huge escalation. We have a lot of virus on our side of the river, but this thing does not care about state or county boundaries.”
He also announced the deaths of 21 Kentuckians on Wednesday. “It’s our second highest day, just by one, as we lost 22 on our highest day.”
They include an 81-year-old man from Adair County; a 65-year-old woman from Boyd County; a 91-year-old woman from Christian County; a 69-year-old man from Clark County; a 52-year-old man from Clinton County; a 74-year-old woman from Daviess County; an 84-year-old Kentuckian (gender unknown), two women, ages 84 and 89, and two men, ages 84 and 93, from Henderson County; four women, ages 70, 82, 85 and 86, and two men, ages 63 and 83, from Jefferson County; two women, ages 42 and 77, from Madison County; a 76-year-old woman from Marion County; and a 57-year-old man from Todd County.
That means there have now been 1,363 deaths related to the coronavirus in Kentucky.
“These are 21 Kentuckians who are no longer with us, whose families are going to miss them. And are going to need our help,” Beshear said.
A total of 794 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized, up from 776 on Tuesday. 203 of them are in the ICU, which is one more than Tuesday.
After seeing Wednesday’s numbers, Beshear said, “I hope we can come together in what is going to be a very difficult time for us to stop the virus, based n the fact that it is escalating nationally. I hope we can come together, and make sure we never have another day like this again. A lot of loss going on out there.”
The governor also urged Kentuckians to follow his ten steps to fight COVID-19, which accompanies this story, and cited examples from September and October where contact tracing was able to find where mini-outbreaks began. “One wedding connected to 44 cases; one family gathering connected to 14 cases; one college party connected to 63 cases; one bingo hall event connected to five cases.”
He said what this means is we have to be more careful, especially since there is now a nationwide escalation in cases. “It may be, if we continue to see our numbers going up the way they are, we may need to ask that we have a period of a week or a couple weeks, where we don’t have any of these outdoor barbecues and the rest at all, because we can, in a couple weeks, make a real impact on this virus.
Gov. Beshear’s last scheduled press briefing this week will take place Thursday afternoon at 4 and can be viewed on YouTube and his Facebook page.
For more information on the coronavirus response in Kentucky, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.