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Beshear: New Steps Could Come Next Week to Address Rising COVID Numbers

For the second consecutive day, Kentucky saw its second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single day.

Governor Andy Beshear reported 836 new cases across the state on Saturday, bringing Kentucky's total to 26,764 since the pandemic began. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.41%, the highest rate reported in the last few months, the state said.

797 cases were announced by the governor on Friday.

“Today’s numbers continue a concerning increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our commonwealth,” Beshear said in a news release Saturday. “We expect to take additional steps next week if the case numbers don’t stabilize.”

Twenty-two cases announced on Saturday involve children aged five and under.

“Yesterday, there were more than 74,000 new cases and more than 1,000 deaths reported across the country,” said Beshear. “We know how to control this virus. We’ve seen states like New York – which had hospitals overflowing with sick patients in March and April – now reporting a positivity rate of 1% or less. If they can do it, we can do it. But we have to work together, stay smart and wear face coverings.”

Five additional deaths were reported on Saturday, bringing the state's total to 696.

The deaths reported Saturday include a 79-year old man from Casey County; an 80-year old man from Christian County; two women, ages 68 and 93, from Fayette County; and a 66-year old man from Ohio County.

As of Saturday, there have been at least 582,521 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. 

“The number of positive cases in Kentucky is on the rise, but we can still avoid the crises confronting other states,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, referring to other states’ filled ICU beds and increasing deaths. “Our personal choices, right now and every day, will directly determine Kentucky’s situation in early August. Small acts of kindness and personal sacrifice will make a big difference. We can choose to delay a party or picnic. We can shop for groceries or go to the pharmacy when it’s less crowded. We can opt for an online or drive-up worship service. We can wear a face mask. Every one of us has a role to play in determining Team Kentucky’s future.”

At least 7,421 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

-Staff report