Kentucky sets new records for coronavirus cases, covid-19 hospitalizations and patients in intensive care for the disease

Kentucky Health News graph; virus case numbers are from initial, unadjusted daily reports

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

New cases of the novel coronavirus, hospitalizations for its disease and the number of covid-19 patients in intensive care all hit new highs Friday.

New cases totaled 3,825, beating the previous record, set the day before, by 176. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,775. The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the last seven days is 9.15 percent.
Kentucky hospitals reported 1,554 covid-19 patients, 366 of them in intensive care, both records, and 188 of those on ventilators.

“It is shattering records over and over until we stop it,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release. “That’s why we are taking action – we have to. We’ve got more than 10,000 students quarantined right now just based on the last two weeks alone. We’ve got to do so much better.”

Beshear has ordered public and private schools to end in-person instruction until at last Dec. 7, and at 5 p.m. Friday a set of new restrictions took effect, including a ban on in-person dining.
“We’ve got new restrictions in place to help us slow down this speeding train and prevent avoidable death,” Beshear said. “Remember, your decisions are going to be what determines how many people live or die. Do your part.”
Beshear’s executive orders also affect bars, social gatherings, indoor fitness and recreation centers, theaters, other venues and professional services.
The governor reported 20 more covid-19 deaths, raising the state’s toll to 1,762: A 74-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man from Boone County; a 54-year-old Boyd County man; an 88-year-old Campbell County woman; two 85-year-old Fayette County men; two women, 74 and 90, and an 82-year-old man from Hardin County; four women, 69, 86, 87 and 91, and two men, 80 and 92, from Jefferson County; a 77-year-old woman from Johnson County; a 93-year-old Marshall County woman; a 93-year-old Nelson County man; a 71-year-old Pike County man; and a 72-year-old Washington County woman.
Bean’s Cafe and Bakery, one of three to sue
Coronavirus infection rates; for a larger map, click on it.

Lee County, with only 7,000 people, reported 98 new cases, making its average daily case rate over the last seven days by far the state’s highest. The county has been the scene of outbreaks at a nursing home and a privately operated state prison, and there are signs that the outbreak is spreading to adjoining counties of Owsley and Powell; they also have very high infection rates.

Counties with more than 10 new cases Friday were: Jefferson, 668; Fayette, 297; Boyd, 185; Boone, 123; Kenton, 119; Lee, 98; Daviess, 88; Hardin, 85; Warren, 84; Oldham, 81; McCracken, 76; Campbell, 62; Franklin, 60; Bullitt, 55; Madison, 54; Jessamine, 52; Pike, 52; Hopkins, 50; Graves, Laurel and Powell, 46 each; Nelson, 45; Clay, 44; Logan, 40; Greenup, 39; Pulaski, 38; Knox, 36; Clark, 34; Boyle and Whitley, 33 each; Floyd, 32; Shelby, 31; Caldwell and Scott, 26 each; Elliott, 25; Bell and Henderson, 24 each; Adair and Christian, 23 each; Anderson, Lincoln and Marion, 22 each; Barren and Muhlenberg, 21 each; Woodford, 20; Knott, Letcher, Russell, Taylor and Washington, 19 each; Lawrence and Spencer, 18 each; LaRue and Simpson, 17 each; Carter. Harlan and Perry, 16 each; Garrard and Grayson, 15; Casey, Fleming, Grant and Rowan, 14 each; Hart, Henry, Marshall, Mercer, Montgomery and Wayne, 13; Allen, Harrison, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio and Union, 12 each.
In other covid-19 news Friday:
  • Danville Christian Academy filed a federal lawsuit to continue in-person schooling, alleging that Beshear’s order to stop it violates its religious freedom and a state law. Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined as a plaintiff.
  • Bean’s Bakery and Cafe in Dry Ridge said it would defy Beshear’s order and keep its dining room open. It was one of the three businesses that challenged the governor’s earlier orders and lost at the state Supreme Court. Beshear’s office did not respond to a question about enforcement, but Wednesday he said he would rely on county governments for that.
  • Later, Popi’s, a recently remodeled restaurant in Marshall County, posted on Facebook that it would remain open. Later it reposted an announcement of a special county health board meeting for 10 a.m. Saturday and asked people to join in. One item on the agenda is Beshear’s executive order banning inside dining in restaurants. WKMS in Murray is on the story.
  • The Commonwealth Policy Center, which advocates faith-based conservative policies, said it was disappointed that Beshear is allowing gambling halls to stay open and asking churches to stop in-person services. “The governor loses moral authority when he suggests that churches should close and casinos remain open,” CPC Director Richard Nelson said.
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