Positivity rate falls even as coronavirus cases rise

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - While the number of new cases of the coronavirus rose on Tuesday, the state’s positivity rate fell and that was some good news.


During a Capitol press briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 745 new cases, up from Monday’s 342, but since some of the labs do not report over the weekend, the jump was not unexpected.


“Ninety-five of them were children under 18,” Beshear said.  “While those are more cases than we like to see, based on significant testing that we are continuing on a day to day basis, our positivity rate is now under 4% again, just barely, at 3.97%.”


Of Tuesday’s new cases, 15 were children ages 5 and under, while the youngest was only 27 days old, according to the Governor.  That raises the total since Kentucky’s first case on March 6 to an even 58,000.


Beshear also said there were nine new deaths reported Tuesday, raising the total to 1,074 Kentuckians lost to the virus.


The new deaths included a 90-year-old man from Bullitt County; an 83-year-old woman from Hopkins County; two women, ages 65 and 94, and two men, ages 48 and 73, from Jefferson County; a 93-year-old woman from Kenton County; and two men, ages 84 and 88, from Warren County.


“Again, we are going to see higher numbers of deaths as we have a higher number of cases,” he stated.


As of Tuesday, there have been at least 1,068,026 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, and at least 10,962 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.  The Governor has said that last number is vastly underreported, since positive cases are required to be reported to state public health officials, while recoveries are not.


In addition, 533 Kentuckians were hospitalized due to the coronavirus on Tuesday, with 125 of them in intensive care.


Beshear also announced on Tuesday that the state has slightly eased regulations on bars and restaurants to push back last call and operational hours.  They will now be allowed to have last call at 11 p.m. and close at midnight, both an hour later than under previous guidance.


“That was a specific request from those in the restaurant industry. We thought it was reasonable,” he said. “But again let’s make sure that whether you’re in that industry or another industry, with rules and regulations that you are trying to do it right and are not trying to find a way to get around it. That not only hurts you and your facility and the people that come to it, but it hurts everybody around as well.”

Read key updates, actions and information from the Beshear administration on their response to the pandemic at kycovid19.ky.gov.


The governor’s next press briefing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. and will be streamed on his Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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