Case totals, positivity rate both trending in right direction

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday pointed to more good trends in the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky, while deaths remain high due to the post-holiday surge in cases.

A total of 1,440 new cases were reported to state public health officials on Friday, a drop of 440 from Thursday.  It brings the pandemic total in Kentucky to 386,326.

One county had more than 100 new cases, Jefferson with 244.  The other top 10 counties were Kenton 92, Boone 86, Fayette 83, Warren 61, Madison 42, Campbell 40, Daviess 39, Pulaski 26, and Hardin had 24.

Kentucky’s positivity rate on Friday dropped to 6.95%, the lowest since Nov. 6.

“It looks like we’re going to have fewer cases than last week which would give us five straight weeks of declining cases,” said Gov. Beshear.  “The positivity rate also continues to decline.  This says you’re doing the right things and we’re headed in the right direction.  But even if you’ve been vaccinated we have to continue to wear masks and social distance until we can defeat this thing once and for all.”

A total of 1,063 Kentuckians were reported hospitalized on Friday, 80 less than on Thursday.  Of them, 277 were in the ICU and 154 on a ventilator.  Both of those numbers were virtually the same as Thursday.

The number of new deaths related to the coronavirus on Friday was 42, an increase of six from the previous day.  This means there have now been 4,253 deaths attributable to COVID-19 in Kentucky, since the first one in late March 2020.  Information on the victims’ ages and location were not available.

On Friday, Gov. Beshear visited the Louisville Regional Vaccination Site at Broadbent Arena for LouVax International Community Day, and the Lexington Vaccine Public Awareness Campaign at the Consolidated Baptist Church on Russell Cave Road.  Both events sought to promote equitable access to the vaccine and to encourage all Kentucky communities to roll up their sleeves for the shot of hope.

In Louisville, Beshear said, “Being in this building, seeing what is behind us, is a moving experience.  It’s hard to put it into words.  You see compassion, you see hope, you even see victory.  This is a special place, filled with special people who are coming together to get us to the other side of the greatest challenge that we have faced in our lifetimes.  Just being here lifts you up, helps you breathe in, gets you ready to fight that next day, and lets us absolutely know that we are going to get through this, we’re going to make it to the other side, and we’re going to defeat COVID-19.”

In Lexington, he thanked faith leaders saying, “From the start of this pandemic, our faith leaders have stepped up to protect their congregations and their communities. So often, you lead by example in so many parts of our lives, and your efforts to keep our people safe during this time are inspiring.”

The governor added, “I am determined to do what I can – now – to make sure historical wrongs like an unequal access to health care do not carry forward. Health care is a basic human right and this principle is one of the basic guiding values of this administration.”

To see the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, vaccine distribution, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

Beshear’s next scheduled live press briefing will be Monday afternoon at 4, although he is expected to release daily numbers over the weekend.