Gov. Andy Beshear said there was another Monday record for the number of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky.
There were 2,135 new cases reported to state public health officials, he said. “Remember, Mondays are always our lowest day. That’s because not all of the labs are open on the weekend. This is our highest Monday, by a significant amount.”
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Kentucky to 160,232 since the first one was reported on March 6.
The counties with the highest numbers of new cases reported Monday were Jefferson with 430, Fayette 105, Warren 61, Kenton 57, Hopkins 45, Daviess 42, Christian 37, Graves 34, Henderson 33, Logan 33 and Oldham with 30.
Beshear said there were more than 20,000 cases last week, which was another record. “This was 3,000 more cases than the previous week. Do you remember how shocking it was when we had 3,000 cases in a single week? It took us from March 6 to July 19 to have a week with 3,000 cases total. This is exponential spread. It will, and it is, overwhelming us. It’s why we must take action.”
He said the spike in cases is engulfing Kentucky’s hospital system.
“When we have the Louisville hospital system pausing elective surgeries right now, it’s that bad. We have Pikeville Medical Center, we have Kings Daughters, we have the Bowling Green hospital system telling you they’re already struggling. St. Elizabeth’s in northern Kentucky, talking about the same concerns. What happens if we double in two weeks with a system that is already facing these problems? The answer is, not only do more people die, more people die than they have to.”
A total of 1,573 Kentuckians were hospitalized Monday due to COVID-19. Of them 391 were in the intensive care unit and 203 on a ventilator. The state’s testing positivity rate, based on a rolling average over the past seven days, dipped below 9% Monday, to 8.97%.
There were also five more deaths announced on Monday, raising to 1,792 the number of Kentuckians whose deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus in Kentucky. The latest victims include a 73-year-old woman from Fayette County; a 73-year-old man from Harlan County; two men, ages 85 and 88, from McCracken County; and a 77-year-old man from Webster County.
State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack updated Kentuckians on contact tracing, COVID-19 clusters and new projections that account for Beshear’s additional restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
“Contact tracing has a number of different purposes: case investigation, helping connect Kentuckians to helpful resources they need, contact notification and providing information about quarantining,” said Stack said. “Recent models show that just for Jefferson County and 14 surrounding counties, if we had complete compliance with new requirements, we could prevent almost 1,000 additional deaths by mid-January. Even with low compliance, 513 deaths would be prevented.”