In what he described as a “surge” in confirmed coronavirus cases in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear reported Saturday that the state had 92 new reported cases since Friday, by far the largest one-day total of confirmed cases since the outbreak of the pandemic.
There was one new death that the governor later reported on Facebook, bringing the state’s total of coronavirus-related deaths to nine.
The governor’s daily report included two new cases in Warren County, bringing the county’s total to 14, and the first case for Butler County. He did not mention a case in Barren County, although the office of Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale confirmed that the county has experienced its first case of the virus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.
In an email, Barren Fiscal Court Clerk Sherry Jones said: “Earlier today, Barren County government was notified that a patient from T.J. Samson (Community Hospital) tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test result came back after the patient had been discharged home under isolation protocol.”
Likewise, a news release from T.J. Samson confirmed that a patient who was treated at the Glasgow hospital tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the news release, upon arriving at the hospital the patient was immediately masked and placed in isolation by the clinical team. While in the hospital, the patient was treated in the designated COVID-19 unit and was discharged under isolation protocol.
No further information about the patient was released.
According to the news release, all visitation is restricted at both T.J. Samson Community Hospital, T.J. Health Columbia and the T.J. Health Pavilion with few exceptions. Everyone who enters any of the facilities will continue to be screened according to Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
The Butler County case was included in the governor’s report and on the state map of cases included on the website maintained by the Beshear administration. Butler County Judge-Executive Tim Flener said Saturday evening that he received confirmation from the Barren River District Health Department that the report was correct.
“We do have an active case in Butler County,” Flener said late Saturday. “I don’t know the age or gender. The health department is investigating and will let me know more.”
Flener said the confirmation of the case reinforces the precautions he has been urging Butler County residents to take in his weekly radio addresses and other communications.
“Social distancing is hard,” he said, “but we’re all going to have to do it.”
The Butler County case, the Barren County case and the two new Warren County cases bring southcentral Kentucky’s total number of positive test results to 25. Seven are in Simpson County and two in Logan County.
The statewide total grew to at least 394 Saturday, according to Beshear’s figures. The one-day total of 92 eclipsed Friday’s total of 54, the previous single-day high.
The governor warned that the numbers will continue to grow.
“We knew there would be more cases,” he said, “and we knew they would escalate as we go through this.”
Beshear said his estimate of the total number of people tested statewide is 15,000, and he said that number is growing as new mobile testing capabilities become available.
Like Butler County’s Flener, the governor reemphasized the need for precautions to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease, and he called for an end to any large group gatherings.
“We’re seeing the start of our surge,” he said. “We now know more than ever that we have to engage in social distancing.”