Kentucky reported 277 new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, the least since the previous Sunday, when 280 were reported. Sundays tend to have lower figures due to less reporting by testing laboratories; in the six days between the two Sundays, the state averaged 375.5 cases per day and set four new daily records.
The latest number left the seven-day rolling average of new cases at 361.4, virtually the same as the 361.8 it was the day before. The previous week, the average was 241.7, so the week-to-week increase was 49 percent. The daily news release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office noted the week-to-week comparison.
“Folks, this is serious,” Beshear said in the release. “So what we need everybody to do is wear that mask. It’s a requirement, just like wearing your seat belt. At every store, it’s no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service. This is just where we are in our battle as Americans and as Kentuckians against covid-19.”
Stores and other businesses are the first line of enforcement for Beshear’s order requiring that a mask be worn inside indoor public places, or outdoors when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. It took effect at 5 p.m. Friday. Numerous news and social-media reports cited examples of businesses where few if any people were wearing masks; local health departments enforce the order on businesses.
Health Commissioner Steven Stack said in the news release, “Given the elevated rate of positive covid-19 cases that continues to increase, the need to curb spread of infection and keep others safe must be taken seriously. It is important for everyone to realize we all have a role in containing this disease so hospital capacity remains at a manageable level. Kentuckians must stay committed to this very important effort.”
The state health department’s daily report did not include data on covid-19 hospitalizations and use of intensive-care units, the reporting system for which is being changed. It said the counties with more than five new cases Sunday were Jefferson, 39; Fayette, 25; Graves, 18; Boone, 14; Bell, 11; Warren, 11; McCracken, 10; Carroll, 8; Christian, 8; Campbell, 7; Hardin, 7; Kenton, 7; and Oldham, 6.
Beshear reported three more deaths from covid-19, raising the state’s death toll to 625. The fatalities were two Fayette County men, 71 and 87, and a 100-year-old woman from Shelby County.
Shelby County now ranks seventh in deaths, with 19, tied with Adair, which had a major outbreak in its nursing home. Above them are Jefferson, with 206; Kenton, 37; Fayette, 33; Hopkins, 33; Boone, 23; and Graves, 21, most of which have also had nursing-home outbreaks. Patients of long-term-care facilities have accounted for about 65 percent of covid-19 deaths in Kentucky.