Positivity rate declines as Ky. reports 572 new cases, 5 deaths

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- Kentucky reported 572 new coronavirus cases on Saturday along with five more deaths, while the positivity rate based on the number of tests administered declined for a fourth straight day.

The total number of cases reported to state health officials has now reached30,723, 11 of which were children younger than five; and there have now been 740 Kentuckians who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Saturday’s deaths include 55, 61, and 67-year-old men from Oldham County; an 81-year-old man from Jefferson County; and an 84-year-old woman from Simpson County.

“That’s five families that are going to be suffering during this time,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.

The positivity rate Saturday was 5.22 percent on a seven-day rotating basis, down from 5.43 percent on Friday, 5.66 percent on Thursday, and 5.81 percent on Wednesday.

With the continuing drop in the positivity rate, Beshear noted, “Facial coverings work. They are our best chance of saving lives and protecting the health of our people, ensuring our economy can stay open, and getting our kids back in school.”

State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack commented on the continued high number of new cases recently.

“We’re nearly five months into this global pandemic reaching Kentucky, but the last few weeks we saw a big growth in the number of positive COVID-19 cases,” he stated. “This past week, Gov. Beshear reminded us that if we have plans to travel to a state where the rate of positive cases is 15% or higher, we need to change these plans. If someone travels to one those states anyway, then when they return to Kentucky, they should self-quarantine for 14 days.”

Kentuckians who remain in-state can’t let down their guard either, Dr. Stack said, saying gatherings should be limited to ten people or less, especially those going on in backyards, parks, lakes, and similar settings.

“The commonly more personal, informal social behavior in these situations is a big risk,” he said. “If you and your guests are not keeping at least a six-foot social distance and if you’re not wearing masks, this spreads the disease. It places the people you care about most at risk and it endangers others if they spread the disease throughout the community.”

Stack cautioned, “I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but a big part of this is about the decisions made and behaviors practiced by every one of us as individuals. Public gatherings and social activities can be tinderboxes for COVID-19 transmission. Until we get a vaccine or cure to neutralize this threat, we all must continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks.”

Looking at other numbers, as of Saturday there have been at least 638,772 coronavirus tests performed in the state, and at least 8,135 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

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