New cases drive up Ky. seven-day average for fifth straight day; Republican senators want Trump to get in the fight, wear a mask

Kentucky Health News chart shows daily cases for last two weeks and 7-day average for each day.

By Al Cross and Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

The state reported 256 new coronavirus cases Friday, moving Kentucky’s seven-day rolling average upward for the fifth day in a row. Hospitalizations rose slightly, to 387 from 377, but intensive-care cases declined, to 74 from 79.

Counties with more than five new cases Friday were Jefferson, 53; Fayette, 33; Warren, 29; Kenton, 17; Shelby, 9; Laurel, 8; Daviess, 7; and Mercer, 6.

Gov. Andy Beshear reported in a press release, announcing seven more deaths, raising the state’s total to 553. The fatalities were a 90-year-old woman from Clark County; 85- and 88-year-old women and an 83-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 47-year-old man from Monroe County; and 92- and 97-year-old women from Warren County.

In other covid-19 news Friday:

  • Republican senators, fearing loss of their majority in the Nov. 3 election, urged President Trump’s administration to step up its response to the coronavirus “and pushed Trump to start wearing a mask, at least sometimes,” Politico reports. “Trump is still downplaying the virus’ impact, questioning the value of testing and ridiculing the idea of wearing a mask despite holding large-scale campaign rallies. . . . but mask-wearing has become virtually ubiquitous among GOP senators,” led by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell.
  • “This is not as complicated as a ventilator, and this is a way to indicate that you want to protect others,” McConnell said at Morehead’s hospital Friday, the Courier Journal reports. “I see various events on television in which people are clearly not wearing masks, not taking it seriously and not doing others a favor,” he continued. “We need to get past that in order to protect not only ourselves but our friends and colleagues and others until we get to a vaccine.”
  • “Trump and Republican governors are pointing to fewer coronavirus deaths to suggest that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has passed — and to blunt criticism that a surge of new infections in more than half the states is proof the country reopened too soon,” Politico reports in another story. “But that’s a dangerous gamble. Death rates tell nothing about the current spread of the virus and only offer a snapshot of where the country was roughly three weeks ago.”
  • As the number of coronavirus cases continues to spread among Lexington’s Hispanic community at an alarming rate, Alex Acquisto reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader on how that affects contact tracing. Health department officials told her that right now, there are nearly 300 people the department must call each day. Of those, close to 80 are Hispanic and 50 prefer to speak in Spanish. Fayette County led the state in new cases Thursday, and officials said the Hispanic community and Keeneland Race Course, where many Hispanics work, were the main sources.
  • Planning to fly soon? WLEX-TV reports on which airlines are booking at full capacity, and which ones aren’t. Forbes reports on four essential websites to help you plan a safer road trip.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its list of people at risk of severe covid-19 illness. These additions include asthma, high blood pressure, neurologic conditions such as dementia, cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, and pregnancy. They are in addition to kidney disease, obesity, heart conditions, COPD, sickle-cell disease, diabetes and those who are immuno-compromised. The CDC estimates that 60 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from at least one of these conditions.
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