New cases hit another record; Beshear calls it ‘frightening,’ says he will talk Monday about new recommendations for red zones

Kentucky Health News graph, from unadjusted reports of daily cases, discounting large backlogs

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

Calling the total “frightening,” Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,738 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, the state’s highest one-day total yet.

“This is exploding all over the country. Yesterday was the highest amount of cases ever reported in a single day in the United States,” Beshear said in a news release. That record was repeated Saturday, it was announced later.

“We’ve got to do better, and on Monday we’ll be talking about new recommendations to counties that are in the red,” Beshear said. “We’ve got to tamp down these cases. The more cases, the more people that end up in the hospital and the more people die.”

Hospitalizations also set a record, at 840, including 208 in intensive care and 107 of those on ventilators. And the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus jumped again, to 5.63%. Eight additional covid-19 deaths were reported, raising the state’s toll to 1,404.

Health Commissioner Steven Stack said, “We’re all tired of covid-19 and the problems it has brought. People are hurting, whether from the virus itself or the impact it has had on the rest of our lives. It’s all worse, though, when we don’t do simple things like wearing masks and socially distancing. As October comes to a close, please be kind to each other and remember that we help each other, and ourselves, when we focus on defeating the virus rather than arguing with each other.”

Beshear said on Twitter that he was “officially out of quarantine after following the advice of the Department for Public Health” after a member of his security detail tested positive and then developed covid-19. He said he and his family have tested negative “multiple times, which I contribute to the fact we were wearing masks at the time of contact.” He added, “Thank you to all who have sent supportive messages. We are very blessed.”

The previous high for number of cases found in a single day was 1,487, on Wednesday. The state announced more cases on Oct. 7, but more than 1,400 of them were from a backlog in Fayette County.

The growth of cases in the last 10 days appears to be the worst since the first two months of the pandemic, and shows in the county-by-county list. Elliott County, which has about 7,500 people, reported 74 new cases — about 1 per 100 in just a single day. Lee County, with about the same population, reported 27 cases; a nursing home there has counted 128 in a current outbreak.

In other covid-19 news Saturday:

  • Other counties with more than 10 new cases were Jefferson, 390; Fayette, 86; Shelby, 63; Kenton, 57; Boone, 44; Hardin, 44; Daviess,  McCracken and Nelson, 39 each; Clark, 35; Calloway, 34; Warren, 31; Campbell, 30; Lee and Whitley, 27 each; Christian and Hopkins, 24 each; Bullitt and Laurel, 23 each; Knox, 22; Pike, 20; Barren, 18; Franklin and Marion, 17 each; Henderson and Logan, 16 each; Hart, 14; Adair, 13; Floyd, Garrard, Montgomery and Taylor, 12 each; and Bourbon, Jessamine, Madison and Oldham, 11 each.
  • The state’s report on long-term care showed 55 new cases among residents and 25 among employees.
  • Maggie Menderski of the Courier Journal writes about Demetrius Booker, 40, of La Grange, who was hospitalized in four different facilities for 95 days with covid-19.
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