On the same day the country topped 4,000 daily coronavirus deaths for the first time, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky had reached a “tough point once again in our war against COVID-19,” announcing the third-highest case total he’s ever reported.

“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, adding that any Kentuckians who gathered with people outside their household over the holidays must get tested.

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Beshear reported 4,750 new virus cases in the commonwealth. On Thursday, Beshear announced nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky’s second-highest daily report – Wednesday’s report was the highest-ever at 5,742 new cases – and the state’s highest positivity rate since May 5, per a governor’s office news release.

On Friday, Beshear also reported 13 additional deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,856 since the pandemic began. The state’s positivity crept up to 11.91%.

Beshear took the opportunity to review a new White House report, which warned that the current fall/winter surge is “at least twice the rate, the seriousness, of the previous surges that we have seen,” Beshear said.

“This is our most dangerous time,” Beshear said. “Please, please take care of yourself … and do not go out unmasked.”

Citing the White House’s report, Beshear also warned that “the acceleration we are seeing across the country may well be a U.S. variant that has evolved here, somewhat like the one that you are hearing about in the U.K., which may be 50% more transmissible.

“In other words, we are not only in a dangerous time for the amount of virus out there, but the virus may be more dangerous in terms of its spread than ever before,” Beshear said. “While that might not mean that any one case is more serious, if there are that many more cases, and we lose 1% of the people that get infected, we will see more death and more devastation.”

Beshear cited the White House’s recommendations for “aggressive mitigation,” specifically his actions related to a mask mandate and strict social distancing. The state is also setting up “high throughput vaccination sites,” consistent with those recommendations.

“We are working on this right now – I believe Louisville is beta testing one at the moment – where we can get thousands of people through every day,” Beshear said. “(The White House) also is concerned about vaccine hesitancy. It’s real. We’re seeing it in some of the staff members in long-term care …

“It’s safe,” Beshear said, who has publicly received the vaccine. “More than that, I’m willing to have my family vaccinated. My wife, Britainy, has taken it.”

Beshear pointed to several metrics – including that Kentucky ranks just 41st nationally in new virus deaths – as signs that what the state is doing is working.

“In one of the most unhealthy states in the country, we’re 41st in new deaths,” Beshear, “It’s paying off in less death to our people.” That said, Beshear warned that Kentucky’s test positivity rate is significantly up – as of Friday the 19th highest in the country.

“That should set off alarms with all of us,” Beshear said.

Vaccinations in Kentucky sharply increased over the course of last week, climbing to more than 100,000 doses administered, as of Friday, since about 60,000 on Monday.

A map of locations where health care personnel can receive the coronavirus vaccine was live on a state website Friday.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @NewsByAaron or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(1) comment

Parameter Estimator

I stand by my assertion that there is no new surge, no new wave. There is only the one approximately normal distribution like with all seasonal respiratory ailments. And by flattening the tails at the beginning they drove up the mean which is the point on the curve we are near. Yes, that's ugly, but it's math. The Boston University School of Public Health has a very good example using Measles(1) with what would look like three different waves to the average Joan, but when you look again you clearly see one big normal distribution with each of the other two waves constituting the tails. Regarding the flattening of the tails, the Handbook of Biological Statistics shows the leptokurtic curve that one attempts by 'flattening the tails' (2). The alternative option with a platykurtic shape looks fatter, and would collapse the hospitals requiring people outdoors on fields, but results in less death. It is a mathematical certainty that the lock-downs were propagated in order to increase the mean, average, number of deaths in order to not have a big fat blob of patients hit the hospitals at once. This is why Fuaci et al are enemies of humanity. They know this. The 'heroes' making the decisions knew what they were doing. In exchange for a lower steadier flow at the hospitals, they would ensure a higher average number of people died. Was this to push the high profit medical tyranny of injections every few months in submission to travel and retail demands? My personal belief is that the answer to that question is yes.

It is a crime against humanity, not some bat jumping germ warfare from Pan. From the chaos perhaps some families will get stronger and the nation has a renewed faith which is good. The Bible in A Year hit the spot top podcast on iTunes.

1. https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/ep/ep713_descriptiveepi/ep713_descriptiveepi3.html

2. http://www.biostathandbook.com/normality.html

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