Seven-day average of cases is stable; Quarles and agri-tourism farm sue Beshear; blood donations needed in Central Kentucky

Kentucky Health News chart; seven-day average is for that day and preceding six days

Kentucky reported 117 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, pushing its seven-day rolling average slightly higher as it emerged from a light-reporting weekend. The seven-day average rose to 226 from 222, ending a full week above 200 after receding from that level earlier this month.
Gov. Andy Beshear, who is now doing covid-19 briefings only on Tuesdays, issued the numbers in a press release. He reported two deaths, a 67-year-old woman and an 83-year-old man, both from Jefferson County, and the first case in tiny Robertson County. They raised the state’s death toll to 560.

“This confirms what we’ve been saying for weeks: This disease is everywhere and because of that we need all Kentuckians to practice social distancing and wear masks to keep each other safe,” he said. “While we might see fewer cases in some areas right now, we know cases can spike quickly if we’re not careful.”

The state’s daily report said covid-19 hospitalizations remained stable, at 387, and intensive-care cases rose slightly, to 72 from 68. Counties with more than five new cases were Jefferson, 23; Warren, 17; and Fayette, 10.

In other covid-19 news Monday:

      • Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Evans Orchard and Cider Mill in Scott County sued Beshear over his restrictions on outdoor activities, WKYT reports: “The family operates a playground and a converted barn facility that can be rented out for weddings and events. They say public health officials have told them they can have no more 10 individuals into the 96,000-square-foot attraction at a time.” Beshear replied, “All businesses have to follow the same rules and guidance for outdoor weddings and other activities.” He also cited rising case numbers in neighboring states.
      • Doctors in Lexington issued an urgent call for blood donors, saying supplies in Central Kentucky are dangerously low. “Distancing has made it tough to have these blood drives,” Dr. Andrew Bernard of the University of Kentucky told WKYT-TV.
      • The federal government has secured half a million treatment courses of the experimental covid-19 drug remdesivir, and hospitals will pay no more than $3,200 per average treatment course, the government and Gilead Sciences announced. Preliminary research shows the drug may reduce the length of covid-19 hospital stays as much as one-third.
      • Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, not on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail but very popular, said it would resume tours Wednesday, with advance registration required. “Guests will also be asked to wear a face mask. For anyone who forgets theirs, one will be provided,” the distillery says. “Tours and events will be kept to small, comfortable groups to allow for social distancing.” Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville opened today, with social distancing and limits on rides; masks are required for employees but only encouraged for customers.
      • The percentage of positive tests for the virus in Kentucky has remained stable for the past month, tweets Daniel Desrochers of the

Lexington Herald-Leader

        , with this chart (

adapted by Kentucky Health News)

    • :

  • As the world passes two milestones — 10 million cases and half a million deaths — “A mutated version of the virus “has taken over the world. Now scientists are racing to figure out what it means,” The Washington Post reports. “At least four laboratory experiments suggest that the mutation makes the virus more infectious, although none of that work has been peer-reviewed. . . . The mutation doesn’t appear to make people sicker, but a growing number of scientists worry that it has made the virus more contagious.”
  • Masks with exhaust valves aren’t as effective against the virus as those without, and don’t meet official standards in some places, the Post reports.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseasestold CNN he is “cautiously optimistic” a vaccine will be available in early 2021.


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