Daily case count jumps to near record; hospitalizations are stable

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Another 315 Kentuckians were confirmed Saturday to be infected with the coronavirus, a near-record daily total that continued a two-week upward trend. Hospitalizations for covid-19, which Gov. Andy Beshear has said will be a stronger guide to his future actions against the virus, remained stable.

Saturday’s total was four less than the number reported a week earlier, and near the daily peak of 322 that Beshear announced April 22. He announced 625 cases on May 5, but 309 of them were compiled over several days of testing at the Green River Correctional Complex in Central City; 316 was the daily number from the general public.

Beshear made no reference in his press release to the elevated number of cases, but said, “As we reopen, we must continue to follow precautions and protect each other. We’ve come a long way, but the fight is not over.”

Counties with more than five new cases were Jefferson, 54; Warren, 41; Fayette, 36; Shelby, 17; Kenton, 11; Pike, nine; Logan, eight; Campbell, seven, and Gallatin, six.

The day’s total brought the state’s total to 12,445. Of that number, 3,409, or 27.4 percent of the total, have recovered.

According to the state’s daily statistical report, 410 Kentuckians were hospitalized with covid-19 Saturday, and 68 of them were in intensive care. On Friday, those numbers were 418 and 67, down significantly from the 514 and 81 reported Thursday.

Beshear reported two more deaths from covid-19, a 68-year-old man from Grayson County and a 78-year-old man from Oldham County. That raised the state’s death toll from the disease to 499. “While today we are reporting a relatively low number of deaths,” he said, “the pain their loved ones are going through is exactly the same as all other 497 families.”

Jefferson County has accounted for 175 deaths, or 35 percent of the total. Other counties with more than 10 deaths have been Kenton, 36; Hopkins, 31; Boone, 21; Graves, 20; Adair, 19; Fayette, 16; Butler, 13; Jackson, 13; Campbell, 12; Edmonson, 11; and Grayson, 11. The state’s detailed report is at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/covid19/COVID19DailyReport.pdf.

In other covid-19 news Saturday:

  • “Hotspots for the coronavirus in Kentucky appear to be moving from a gaggle of counties in near-Western Kentucky to more urbanized counties along Interstate 64,” Kentucky Health News reports.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “urged organizers of large gatherings that involve shouting, chanting or singing to ‘strongly encourage’ attendees use cloth face coverings,” The Washington Post reports, with a page listing the new guidance, which includes “recommendations to help individuals reduce their own risk for infection as they resume daily activities,” such as avoiding elevators and even elbow bumps. The guidance came “after more than a week of national protests against police brutality where many attendees and police did not wear masks,” the Post notes. “It also coincides with President Trump’s plans to hit the campaign trail next week and to accept his party’s nomination in Jacksonville, Fla. later this summer. The Republican National Committee has indicated it does not want to require participants to wear masks for the speech.”
  • FactCheck.org picks apart the World Health Organization‘s statements about transmission of the virus by people who don’t have symptoms.
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