Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases statewide. His report included 22 additional virus deaths, and the state’s test positivity rate was 12.23%, a slight drop from Monday’s rate.
“We’re trying to determine where these numbers are going,” Beshear said in Frankfort. “We are sure that this is a surge caused by gatherings through the holidays, but there is a chance in what we are seeing in the data that while people gathered in the holidays, that maybe now they’ve changed their behavior back to being very careful. If that’s the case, then hopefully we’ll see a leveling off” in the coming days and weeks.
The number of hospitalizations in the state due to COVID-19 was up slightly, rising to 1,733. Of that amount, 397 are being treated in ICUs and 205 need a ventilator to breathe.
In Warren County, Beshear reported 90 new coronavirus cases.
The Barren River District Health Department has confirmed 21,460 cases since the pandemic began, 18,041 of which have recovered. The department said 227 virus deaths have been reported in its eight-county region.
The county-by-county breakdown of total recovered cases, deaths and total cases is Barren: 2,481, 35, 2,900; Butler: 781, 16, 969; Edmonson: 548, 13, 651; Hart: 1,103, 11, 1,364; Logan: 1,611, 40, 1,906; Metcalfe: 557, 10, 659; Simpson: 1,156, 14, 1,346 and Warren: 9,844, 88, 11,655.
The health department in Allen County, which is not affiliated with the Barren River department, reported eight additional COVID-19 cases Tuesday. Allen County has had a total of 1,352 cases in the pandemic, and the death toll there is 19.
In his news conference, Beshear responded to citizens who submitted a petition calling for his impeachment.
Among the individuals who signed the petition is Tony Wheatley, Beshear said. The governor said Wheatley organized a Frankfort rally in May when Beshear was hanged in effigy.
Beshear identified Jacob Clark, who ran in November as a Libertarian candidate for the seat in Kentucky House District 18, as another petition signee.
In his news event, Beshear shared screenshots of Facebook posts he said Clark had made. In one Facebook video, Clark posed with a handgun resting on a shelf above his left shoulder, and Clark also wrote that “God may strike (Beshear) down” for his restrictions on indoor church gatherings.
“These people who have signed this petition have tried to create terror for me and my family before, and when that hasn’t worked, I guess they’re trying something new,” Beshear said. “We cannot, as a country and as a government, lift these folks up. It is dangerous. It is fanning the flames of their hate and of their anger. … Going out there and playing patty cake with these so-called militias that stormed our U.S. Capitol and murdered a D.C. police officer and that put everybody else in danger is just wrong.”