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Kentucky marks sixth month of coronavirus

Kentucky marked the six-month anniversary of the first case of the coronavirus with a record number of cases during the past week.

“The first positive case of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth was announced six months ago today, in Harrison County,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.  “This week we recorded 4,742 new coronavirus cases.  Last week we had 4,503.  That means we’ve set a record for the number of weekly new cases for the second consecutive week.”

“We’re facing the challenge of our lifetimes and we must do better. These past six months have been devastating for so many Kentucky families. These months also will be remembered as a time when Kentuckians lived up to our reputation as compassionate, resolute and resilient people who take care of one another.”

There were 313 newly reported cases on Sunday, making the total 52,774, since the first one was reported on March 6.  43 of Sunday’s cases were from children age 18 and younger, of which two were ages 5 and under. The youngest was just 27 days old.

He also announced three more deaths on Sunday, bringing the death total to 996.

“We’ve lost nearly 1,000 Kentuckians to the coronavirus.  We can’t become numb to this,” the Governor said. “Today’s reported death toll is much lower than several days this week, but these still are three individuals whose families and friends are devastated and grieving. Let’s care for them and respect their grief by redoubling our efforts to keep each other safe.”

The deaths reported Sunday included:

–A 75-year-old woman from Harlan County;

–an 81-year-old woman from Lewis County;

–an 86-year-old man from Fayette County.

Due to limited reporting on Sundays and the federal Labor Day holiday on Monday, some information will be delayed until Tuesday.  That includes the state’s positivity rate, which had dropped to 4.22 percent Saturday, on a seven-day rolling average; testing and recovery numbers; and case numbers from long-term care facilities and schools.

State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack reminded Kentuckians to be resolute during the long Labor Day weekend, and to learn from the experiences of Memorial Day and 4th of July holidays, when the number of cases spiked.

“Please don’t jam sidewalks, restaurants and bars with masks hanging below your chins. Don’t gather in groups larger than 10 and, if you see a larger crowd, stay away,” he said. “As the governor noted, cases are on the rise, and we have to do better.  The choices Kentuckians make this weekend and every day will determine whether the phased reopening of our economy succeeds or fails. The choices Kentuckians make will also determine how many Kentuckians get hurt or die in the months ahead. With COVID-19 at its current elevated rates, the risk that any person we come into contact with is a carrier of the coronavirus is much higher.”

Dr. Stack encourages everyone to stay Healthy at Home whenever possible, wear a face covering when you’re in public, stay at least six feet apart from anyone with whom you don’t live; and wash your hands often.