812 new coronavirus cases make seven-day rolling average of daily new cases 1,064; Fauci says virus is the ‘most puzzling’ one

Picture of a coronavirus. Text: Covid-19 update

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky recorded 812 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday, lowering the seven-day rolling average of new cases to 1,064 from the high of 1,070 recorded Saturday. Sunday is usually a day of relatively low numbers; the latest daily total was less than the 852 recorded last Sunday.

“Once again, we are seeing our case numbers growing instead of shrinking and we must do better,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release. “All of the things that we want to do, like fully re-engaging our economy and getting our children back to in-person instruction, is dependent on everyone taking this virus a lot more seriously.

“Mask up, maintain social distance, wash your hands frequently, keep gatherings to no more than 10 people and avoid traveling to virus hotspots. We can get where we need to be but only together as Team Kentucky.”
Health Commissioner Steven Stack said in the release, “We are in a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Lives are continuing to be affected and lives are being lost to this virus. Each Kentuckian has to do their part to limit the spread: socially distance, wear masks and practice good hand hygiene.”

Beshear announced five more fatalities from covid-19, bringing the state’s toll to 1,317. They were a 76-year-old man from Boyd County; a 73-year-old woman from Fayette County; a 67-year-old man from Greenup County; a 91-year-old woman from Lincoln County and a 91-year-old woman from Marion County.

“That’s five more families grieving another loved one lost to the coronavirus,” Beshear said. “Let’s remember to light our houses and businesses up green to show them we care and ring bells at 10 a.m. to honor these Kentuckians taken from us too soon.”

Sunday’s new cases raised the state’s total to 87,607, of which 74,600 have been confirmed by laboratories and 13,007 are considered probable. Of the new cases, 116 were age 18 or younger, and 28 of those were 5 and under.
As usual for a Sunday, the state’s daily report did not include hospitalization figures or the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days.

Stack noted in the release that the positive-test rate, starting Monday, will be calculated only using polymerase chain reaction tests that are submitted electronically because the state has found that other forms of testing and reporting have more variations. He said it would also speed data collection.

“PCR tests are the most reliable test for finding active disease in those currently infected,” he said, “and more than 90% of all covid-19 tests currently performed in Kentucky are PCR tests.”
In other coronavirus news Sunday:
  • Counties with 10 or more new cases were: Jefferson, 217; Fayette, 67; Kenton, 21; Bullitt, 19; Christian, 19; Madison, 16; Jessamine, 15; Warren, 15; Daviess, 14; McCracken, 14; Barren, 13; Taylor, 13; Pulaski, 11; Russell, 11; and Boone, Floyd, Muhlenberg and Scott, 10 each.
  • Kentucky’s percentage of virus cases and covid-19 deaths among African Americans continues to decline slowly. Black Kentuckians, who are 8.4% of the state’s population, have been 11.62% of Kentucky’s cases and 12.32% of its deaths.
  • Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said on NBC‘s “Meet the Press” that “The next 6 to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic. Vaccines will not become available in any meaningful way until early to third quarter of next year.”
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News‘ “60 Minutes” that said that none of the pathogens he has studied in his long career is as puzzling as the novel coronavirus. He said researchers have much to learn about it, including how common it is for people who have ben infected by it to become re-infected.
  • Fauci said the pandemic “would have to get really, really bad” for another lockdown because Americans are fatigued with it.
  • He said “I got really ticked off” when he saw a TV commercial for President Trump using a clip of him saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more” about the virus because “I was referring to the grueling work” of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, not Trump. The ad is still running.
  • He said that when he saw Trump at a Rose Garden ceremony without masks and social distancing, “I worried that he was going to get sick.” He did, and many others at the event tested positive.
  • Fauci said he has received harassment and death threats. Earlier, he said, “There’s an anti-authority feeling in the world, and science has an air of authority to it.”
  • He said that if the Food and Drug Administration approves a coronavirus vaccine, he will take it.
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