KENTUCKY (WFIE) - During the state’s coronavirus update on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 906 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths.
“That’s our third-highest total since the very beginning,” Gov. Beshear said.
Kentucky is currently reporting that 50,885 residents have tested positive since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Out of these reported cases, 10,547 people have recovered from the virus.
The positivity rate currently stands at 4.53% statewide.
“COVID is a once-in-100-year pandemic and we’ve got to take it seriously,” Gov. Beshear said. “We’re seeing a rough week this week.”
The Governor says 124 new cases were from children ages 18 and under. These reported cases includes 17 children who are five years old and younger. The youngest was a two-month-old infant from Henderson County.
As of Thursday, 976 people have died across the commonwealth due to complications with COVID-19.
State leaders also responded to a new message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, telling states to prepare for “large scale” distribution of a coronavirus vaccine this fall.
“KDPH, with Kentucky Emergency Management and local health departments, is working to create our plans in partnership with the federal government, as well as state and local governments, so that when a safe and reliable vaccine is available we can deploy that in a timely manner to everyone who is eligible for it,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said. “But, I’ve said this repeatedly and I’ll say it again, there will not be a vaccine for virtually everybody this calendar year. There are some corners that cannot be cut.”
During the briefing on Thursday, Dr. Stack says while they don’t know when the vaccine will arrive, state leaders won’t distribute the vaccine to the public until health officials determine it’s completely safe.
“We have to finish those trials, there are no short cuts,” Dr. Stack said. “We have to see where we are each step of the way before we deploy those on Kentuckians. We’re not here to experiment on you. We’re here to keep you healthy and safe, and prevent illness and disease.”
Once the vaccine is ready and distributed, Gov. Beshear says this could allow the state to reopen places like restaurants to 100% capacity. However, before the vaccine is ready, he sees some version of current restrictions staying in place.
You can watch Gov. Beshear’s full Thursday press conference in the video below:
The Green River District Health Department is reporting 63 additional COVID-19 cases.
Of those new cases, 22 are in Daviess County, 18 are in Union County, 15 are in Henderson County, there are three cases in each McLean and Webster counties, and two new cases in Hancock County.
Green River health officials say this is the highest daily total for the seven-county region since the beginning of the pandemic.
“You can’t turn this thing on a dime,” GRDHD Public Health Director Clay Horton said. “But we also know it accelerates very rapidly. You hear them talk about exponential spread, and we’re seeing the start of that.”
The district has now had a total of 2,314 confirmed cases. They say 1,881 people have recovered from the virus.
62-year-old Henderson man Greg Pritchett is healthy now, but came down with the virus in mid-March. He said he spent nearly a week in the hospital, recalled x-rays showing lung damage, and took until June to recover.
“The day I left the hospital, there was actually two people that were discharged from the hospital: myself and the other one went to the morgue,” Pitchett shared.
Horton says they are tracking a community-based spread, such as churches, BBQ’s, weddings and work environments.
“If you’re a leader in that organization, leader of a church, coach of a sports team, or if you’re a supervisor at your workplace, you have a responsibility to lead by example,” Horton added. “You have a responsibility to take care of the people you’re responsible for.”
Horton cited the case numbers that went up after the Fourth of July and says there is some concern with another holiday weekend ahead.
“We want everyone to enjoy the holiday, but they need to do it safely,” Horton told 14 News. “They need to do it with distancing and in very small groups.”
The Hopkins County Health Department website is showing five new COVID-19 cases. They have now had a total of 516 cases and 412 recoveries.
The currently have 69 active cases.
The Muhlenberg County Health Department reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one probable case on Thursday.
This brings the countywide number to 664 confirmed cases and 24 probable cases. Out of the confirmed cases, 635 people have recovered.
Here are the numbers in our area of Kentucky:
- Daviess Co. - 1,029 cases, 13 deaths, 875 recovered
- Muhlenberg Co. - 664 cases, 11 deaths, 635 recovered
- Hopkins Co. - 516 cases, 35 deaths, 412 recovered
- Ohio Co. - 421 cases, 9 death, 364 recovered
- Henderson Co. - 487 cases, 4 deaths, 373 recovered
- Webster Co. - 125 cases, 1 death, 97 recovered
- McLean Co. - 62 cases, 1 death, 50 recovered
- Union Co. - 133 cases, 1 death, 73 recovered
- Hancock Co. - 57 cases, 49 recovered