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Government & Politics

Beshear Reports Second Highest Case Number For COVID-19 In KY

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Screenshot of Governor Andy Beshear's Facebook Live
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Governor Andy Beshear confirmed 426 new cases of coronavirus in the Commonwealth Friday. That brings the total number of cases in the state to 18,670. Beshear said Kentucky is continuing to see an escalation of COVID-19 cases. He said Friday’s case number is the second highest total the state has seen.

“If you look back at our highest total and remove Green River that had 300 cases that day, it would be our highest,” he said.

Beshear said Warren County reported 26 new cases and Graves County reported 20. He said Henderson County had 12 new cases and Daviess County had 10.

Beshear said the new cases are not just a result of increased testing, because the positivity rate has gone up from 2.47%two weeks ago to 4.5% this week. The positivity rate is based on a seven-day average.

He said the new case number and positivity rate is “not good news.” But Beshear said the state still has a lot of available hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators. 

“But let’s keep it that way. Let’s certainly not tempt fate. Let’s do what it takes,” he said. 

Beshear confirmed eight new deaths from coronavirus. He also said a lot of children under the age of five are testing positive for the virus. Beshear said a lawsuit in North Kentucky aimed to increase the class size limit for daycares in the state from 10 to 28. He said the argument is that people “aren’t seeing cases at daycares.”

“Well, you know what? We are seeing cases in daycares,” he said. 

Beshear said 15 childcare staff and seven children have tested positive for coronavirus.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said as of Friday,more than 450 daycare centers and 80 certified childcare centers haven’t reopened, but “the vast majority have.”

“And in Kentucky we’ve already seen 13 centers that have had cases,” he said.

Friedlander said some childcare operators have complained that they don’t feel like they can make a profit under state guidelines.

“But I’ll tell you what, I’ll put the lives of Kentucky’s children and families over profit any day,” he said.

Beshear said of the new cases, 20 are residents of long-term care facilities and 20 others are staff members. He said two new residents have died. 

Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown said out of the 418 cases reported at Green River Correctional Complex, 417 have recovered. He said the Correctional Institution for Women in Pewee Valley currently has 176 positive tests. He said they retested the entire population at the complex, and are waiting for the results on 258 tests. Of the 176 cases, five inmates are being hospitalized,and two are in the ICU.

Brown said Kentucky’s correctional industries have turned out 142,000 masks, including 45,000 that have been distributed to prisons. He said they have been widely using the masks across prison populations.