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COVID-19: New Restrictions Expected Monday in Kentucky

White House Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx joined Governor Andy Beshear and other state officials in Frankfort on Sunday to discuss the state's escalation in COVID-19 cases.

The governor said that additional social restrictions will be announced on Monday, according to WFPL.

It was not immediately clear what those steps may be, but the state's COVID-19 positivity rate (the percentage of people testing positive against the number of people tested overall) is at 5.42%. White House guidance suggests that when a state's positivity rate goes over 5%, bars should be closed and restaurant capacity reduced.

Bars reopened in Kentucky at the end of June, the same month that indoor dining in restaurants resumed and later expanded to 50 percent capacity from the original 33 percent.

Kentucky has seen record number of single-day cases over the past week, with nearly a thousand last Sunday, and its second-highest ever on Saturday, with 836.

On this Sunday, Beshear announced 316 new cases and four additional COVID-19-related deaths.

The state has seen a total of 27,079 cases since the pandemic began and 700 total deaths.

“Kentucky is in that spot now where if we don’t act, we will look a lot like states in the South that are facing devastating consequences,” Beshear said. “Thankfully today’s numbers are lower than what we’ve seen recently, but we know less testing comes in on Sundays.”

“I want you to know that the White House and Kentucky state government are in complete agreement that the escalation of cases is going to require us to take some new steps. We’re going to announce those steps tomorrow and we’ll talk through the what and the why behind each one.” 

“Last week was a difficult one in the United States and in Kentucky,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “Nationally, cases surpassed 4.1 million, and in our commonwealth, over 27,000 cases have now been reported. It seems like an eternity since we reported Kentucky’s first positive COVID-19 patient on March 6. Every day is important and the upcoming week will determine which additional measures will be needed to blunt the increase of COVID-19 in our commonwealth. Please avoid crowds, socially distance at least six feet and wear a face covering when in public. Together, Team Kentucky can beat COVID-19.”

-Staff report

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