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COVID-19: Post-Holiday Surge Continues; 4,750 Cases in Ky., 395 in NKY on Friday

The surge of COVID-19 cases continued in Kentucky on Friday.

Governor Andy Beshear announced 4,750 newly confirmed positive cases of the novel coronavirus across the state, bringing the total to 15,403 over the past three days. The only days with higher case counts happened on Wednesday and Thursday.

In five Northern Kentucky counties, there were 395 new cases, with 171 in Kenton County, 111 in Boone Co., 94 in Campbell Co., 10 in Grant Co., and 9 in Pendleton Co.

The five-county region has seen 1,411 cases over the past three days.

“We are at a really tough point once again in our war against COVID-19. We have successfully stopped three waves of this virus, but we are now seeing a real and significant increase in cases and our positivity rate from people’s gatherings around the holidays,” Beshear said. “I wish it hadn’t happened. We’ve got to make sure that moving forward we are not gathering in that way, and we’ve got to know that we wear a mask now to protect ourselves.

“You need to be wearing a mask anywhere outside of your own household. It’s gotten that bad and these mutated versions appear to be spreading really fast.”

According to the most recent White House Federal Report for Kentucky, the state’s fall and winter surge has been at “nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges.”

The report continues: “The acceleration suggests there may be a United States COVID-19 variant that has evolved here, in addition to the United Kingdom variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible.

“Aggressive mitigation must be used to match a more aggressive virus: Without uniform implementation of effective face masking (two or three-ply and well-fitting) and strict social distancing, epidemics could quickly worsen as these variants spread and become predominant.”

The governor also shared guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which he said directly conflicts with the policies outlined in Kentucky House Bill 1 that would strip the governor of emergency powers to enact some restrictions to mitigate the spread of the virus.

recent poll indicated 66% of Kentucky voters approve of the way the governor has handled the pandemic.

The Governor also suggested the bill was both counterproductive and contradictory. 

“The CDC reopening plan written into the guidance that would become law in this bill says that if we’ve got cases going up instead of two weeks of cases going down, things should be shut down," Beshear said. "This is the problem when you put guidance into law that was never intended to be law: House Bill 1, based on what it references, may be requiring a shut-down of Kentucky that does not and should not need to happen.

“Also, is House Bill 1 saying that restaurants have to be open but people aren’t allowed to go in them? That makes no sense.”

Meanwhile, the state's positivity rate is at 11.9%. There are currently 2,856 people hospitalized across the state including 393 in intensive care units and 217 on ventilators.

Thirteen additional deaths were reported on Friday.

-Staff report

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