973 new cases, 4th highest day and biggest week yet; Beshear asks for mask wearing, says he sees less of it sometimes

Kentucky Department for Public Health map; for a larger version, click on it.

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky recorded 973 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, the fourth highest daily number of the pandemic, and making almost certain the week will set a record.

Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release, “We are on pace to have the single highest week in terms of positive cases that we’ve ever had.” The state reporting week is Monday through Sunday; the daily unadjusted totals in the calendar week that ends today is 5,113 cases, the highest ever.

“We simply have to do better,” Beshear said. “Please wear a mask. Sadly, sometimes I’m seeing less of these out there than more. This will save lives.”

Beshear said 132 of the day’s new cases were in Kentuckians 18 and younger, with 18 of them 5 and younger and the youngest 2 months old.

The state reported five more deaths from covid-19, raising its death toll to 1,154.

“We’ve already lost more than 200,000 Americans,” Beshear said. “Do your part as Team Kentucky, do your patriotic duty – mask up, Kentucky. It may save the life of someone you know.”

The fatalities were an 88-year-old man and a 101-year-old woman from Boyd County, a 67-year-old man from Scott County; an 80-year-old woman from Union County; and an 86-year-old woman from Christian County.

The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days remained relatively stable at 4.42%.

Counties with 10 or more new cases on the daily report were Jefferson, 235; Fayette, 108; Henderson, 35; Warren, 35; Whitley, 29; Laurel, 27; Pike, 25; Bullitt, 23; Christian, 20; Boone, 17; Mercer, 17; Franklin, 16; Kenton, 15; Knox, 15; Boyd, 13; Daviess, 13; Scott, 13; Calloway, 12; Hardin, 12; McCracken, 11; and Jessamine, 10.

In other covid-19 news Saturday:

  • If you’re wearing a mask but not covering your nose, “You’re doing it all wrong,” the Toronto Star reports. “Evidence is emerging that covid-19 has an easier time infecting people through the nasal passage, compared to the mouth.”
  • The University of Washington estimated that if 95% of Americans wear a mask in public, 100,000 lives could be saved by the end of the year. But even with that unlikely development, the cumulative U.S. death toll would still be between 250,000 and 300,000. The current projection of UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is 320,000 to 457,000, with the most likely number 371,509.
  • In Kentucky, the institute estimates 4,048 total deaths by Jan. 1, more than four times the current six-and-a-half-month total in little more than three more months. Even with 95% mask wearing, it estimates 2,099 deaths from covid-19 in Kentucky by the end of the year.
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