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Fauci Warns of Ky. Outbreak as State Records Another 532 COVID-19 Cases

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned of signs of a COVID-19 outbreak in Kentucky and other neighboring states like Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Fauci appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday and referenced a rising positivity rate in the Commonwealth as a "surefire sign that you’ve got to be really careful."

The interview, which can be seen here, referenced Kentucky as among those states that currently concern him most because of situations like the growing positivity rate, which on Tuesday stood at 5.02% in the state, which is down for the first time in four days.

Governor Andy Beshear ordered bars to close on Tuesday for two weeks and for restaurants to reduce indoor dining capacity back to 25% from 50% as a response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. On Tuesday, the governor announced another 532 confirmed cases bringing the state's total to 28,126 since the pandemic began.

“We are at war with this virus. It has come to take the lives of our people, it has tried to turn everything about our lives upside down, and it’s our job to fight back,” Beshear said. “This is a war fought by every single one of us. Every single individual’s actions matter.”

Beshear again called for social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, and to avoid travel to virus hotspots.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo added Kentucky to his state's list of states from which visitors would have to quarantine for fourteen days. "The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average," a news release from Cuomo's office said.

Beshear looked to troubling spots in other parts of the country.

“Today, again, tough news for Florida and Texas: Florida setting a record for deaths in a single day and in Texas, every six minutes and 16 seconds they are losing someone to COVID-19,” the governor said. “But again, we are at a point in time where we have the ability to stop this before it gets anywhere close to what we’ve seen in those states.”

The Northern Kentucky Health Department announced 53 new cases in the four-county region here, bringing the total of cases in Kenton, Boone, Campbell, and Grant counties to 2,458.

1,713 people have recovered here.

Twenty-one of the new cases reported in Kentucky on Tuesday involve children ages five and under.

Despite some troubling indicators, Beshear expressed some optimism.

“Today’s update gives us hope that we may be seeing a new plateau or stabilization, although it is too early to come to that conclusion,” Beshear said. “It’s also the first time the positivity rate has gone down in four days. My hope is that the facial covering requirement is starting to kick in and help.”

Ten additional COVID-19-related deaths were reported in Kentucky, bringing the state's total to 719.

As of Tuesday, there have been at least 599,251 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. At least 7,470 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

-Staff report

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