Kentucky reports 5,309 COVID-19 cases, 53 deaths after Christmas

Kentucky saw its second-highest daily number of COVID-19 related deaths on Christmas Eve, Gov. Andy Beshear said on Saturday, while releasing three days’ worth of case information.

There were 53 deaths reported to state public officials on December 24, another 11 on Christmas Day, and four more on Saturday, for a total of 68 over three days. This raises the coronavirus pandemic total to 2,534.

“The number of deaths we’re announcing today is truly heartbreaking – another wake-up call,” said Gov. Beshear. “But one piece of good news is that our positivity rate continues to decline. It was even under eight percent on Christmas Day. That means our sacrifices are making a difference. Thank you for doing the holidays differently this year to protect each other. Let’s keep working hard so we don’t have more days like today where we have to announce we’ve lost so many of our neighbors, family and friends.”

Kentucky’s positivity rate dropped from 8.20% on Christmas Eve to 7.95% on Christmas Day. It then rose slightly on Saturday to 8.04%.

New cases over the three-day period totaled 5,309, and included 2,742 on Christmas Eve, 1,803 on Christmas Day and 764 on Saturday, December 26. There have now been 255,563 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, since the first case was reported on March 6.

The lower numbers the past two days could be attributed in part to some of the labs that are not open on holidays or the weekend, which could lead to a jump on Monday and Tuesday.

“Many Kentuckians found new ways to celebrate Christmas, including limiting their in-person interactions with others,” said State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack. “Your sacrifices are appreciated and a gift of kindness to your loved ones and your neighbors as we keep this dreadful disease from spreading more rapidly. Please make sure you’re familiar with symptoms of this virus, and if you aren’t feeling well, please stay home until you are better or see a health care provider.”

Taking a wider view of the pandemic, Johns Hopkins University on Saturday reported there have now been 80,182,793 confirmed cases of COVID-18 around the world, with 1,755,141 deaths. In the United States alone, 18,897,780 cases have been reported, with 105,906 new ones on Saturday. There have also been 331,495 deaths nationwide.

To view the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, details on holiday gathering guidance, school reopening and more, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.