Upward trend in COVID-19 cases continues in Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear puts on a face mask after speaking to reporters at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., to provide an update on the coronavirus situation, Monday, May 11, 2020. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Kentucky saw its second-highest daily coronavirus case spike Tuesday, with 674 newly announced by Gov. Andy Beshear.

“There is no safe region in Kentucky anymore,” he said in Frankfort.

On Sunday, Beshear announced 979 new cases – the state’s highest daily number to date.

Tuesday’s increase brought the statewide total to 24,060 and prompted Beshear to call the situation “serious” and “escalating.”

Beshear promoted his recent emergency orders, including a public mask mandate, a limit of 10 people at social gatherings and a travel advisory. His travel advisory recommends 14 days of quarantine for those arriving in Kentucky after traveling to states with a 15% or greater case positivity rate.

“I need you to cancel your plans if you’re going to a beach in Florida, or Alabama, or South Carolina, or any of these states. It is just not safe,” he said.

A list of states included in the travel advisory is available at kycovid19.ky.gov.

Asked about criticism over his “one-size-fits-all” approach to statewide emergency orders, Beshear said “we can’t wait for the virus to overwhelm us to act.”

“You can go from very few cases to being overwhelmed almost immediately. And when you think about when we put a restriction in place – it’s going to take almost two weeks to start stemming the tide,” he said.

“In two weeks, Warren County went from regular to one of the top (counties with new cases) in the country at one point.”

Later in the news conference, he said the current case surge requires major statewide guidelines, but “there is some opportunity” for isolated closures with the help of contact tracing.

Beshear also said 22 children under 5 years old are part of Tuesday’s 674 new cases, and he said 30 day care centers in the state have “at least one case associated with them.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced unlimited COVID-related emergency days for school faculty and staff that must quarantine because they have been exposed to the virus.

“At the heart of every reopening plan should be the health and safety of every child, and every adult in the building, as well as the family they go home to at night,” she said.

Coleman also said the state Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development is in discussions with groups to expand Wi-Fi access to parts of the state “that need it the most.”

Coronavirus

Beshear also announced at least 549,208 tests have been performed, and the positivity rate is 4.37%.

At least 6,927 people have recovered, and 532 are currently hospitalized, 136 of whom are in intensive care.

The state’s death toll rose to 674 with three newly confirmed virus-related deaths.

The Barren River Area Development District’s COVID-19 Dashboard, which uses state health department data, showed 3,305 cases including 2,013 in Warren, 281 in Butler, 275 in Logan, 204 in Allen, 194 in Barren, 113 in Simpson, 84 in Edmonson, 63 in Monroe, 59 in Hart and 19 in Metcalfe.

The Barren River District Health Department announced 2,980 total cases in its area, including 1,969 in Warren, 280 in Logan, 276 in Butler, 182 in Barren, 106 in Simpson, 85 in Edmonson, 64 in Hart and 18 in Metcalfe. Of the 2,980 cases, 2,309 have reportedly recovered. The department has reported 75 deaths to date, including 21 in Logan, 19 in Warren, 15 in Butler, 12 in Edmonson, four in Simpson, and two in both Barren and Metcalfe.

In Warren County, there have been at least 25,082 total coronavirus tests performed as of Tuesday, according to Ronnie Pearson, director of the Warren County Emergency Management Services.

There are at least 202 confirmed cases in Allen County, according to the Allen County Health Department, which is not part of the Barren River district.

Some daily totals may shift because of data being reported incorrectly. Additionally, numbers often differ between the state and local sources because of different reporting methods.

– Follow multimedia journalist Emily Zantow on Twitter @EmilyZantowNews or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow Multimedia Journalist Emily Zantow on Twitter @EmilyZantowNews or visit bgdailynews.com.

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