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Beshear pushing masks after another day of 1,000 new cases

For the third time this week, more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky were reported on Friday, pushing the pandemic total past 70,000, and prompting Gov. Andy Beshear to say the situation is “getting very dangerous,” and continued his push for everyone to wear masks.

“The escalation here in Kentucky continues to get worse and we have to wear masks, all of us,” Beshear said.  “This week is going to shatter last week’s record for number of cases.  We have to do better.”

There were 1,039 newly reported to state public health officials on Friday, 151 of which were from children age 18 and younger, and 33 were children age 5 and under. The youngest was only 5 days old.

“Folks, today’s news that the President and First Lady have tested positive for COVID-19 along with some of their advisors shows you that anybody can get this,” said Gov. Beshear.  “We wish them the best and a speedy recovery, and this is an example of why we all have to be wearing masks.  We all have to do our part.”

There were also six new deaths reported on Friday, raising the total to 1,197 Kentuckians lost to the virus.  They include a 68-year-old man from Boyd County, a 69-year-old woman from Fayette County, a 74-year-old man from McCreary County, a 72-year-old man from Menifee County, a 60-year-old man from Oldham County, and a 70-year-old woman from Pulaski County.

“The situation is getting very dangerous in Kentucky.  If you care about your economy, if you care about getting your kids into school, if you care about the lives of those around you, put on your mask,” Beshear said.  “Socially distance; wash your hands; follow the rules.  We’ve got to be Team Kentucky right now. We need your help and I know you’re going to come through.”

As of Friday, there have been more than 1.5 million coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, and at least 12,041 people have recovered from the virus.

The positivity rate has risen two days in a row and currently stands at 4.30 percent.  Thursday it was 4.11 percent, up from 4.07 percent on Wednesday.  578 Kentuckians are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 133 of them in the ICU.

Taking a wider view of the coronavirus pandemic, Johns Hopkins University reports there have been 34,448,691 cases around the world, along with 1,025,315 deaths.  In the United States, the confirmed number of cases Friday stood at 7,318,110 with the number of deaths currently 208,485.

As fall break looms for some, the Kentucky Department for Public Health reminds everyone f their travel advisory issued in July, which recommends a 14-day quarantine for Kentuckians who return from states that have a positivity rate of 15 percent or higher.

There are currently eight states which are above the 15 percent level: Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  They also added Florida to that list this week even though their positivity rate is 11 percent, because of the expected travel there in the coming weeks.

Read about updated key numbers, actions and other information from the Beshear administration on the response to the pandemic at kycovid19.ky.gov.

The governor’s next scheduled press briefing is Monday, but he is expected to issue daily reports on COVID-19 numbers throughout the weekend.