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Governor's Wednesday update

By Crystal Staley/Sebastian Kitchen

Frankfort, KY - Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the state's continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

"In general, what we are seeing is we still have higher case numbers than we would like to see, but we don't at the moment see those accelerating from last week or the week before," the Governor said. "We see our positivity rate coming down, and that is a good thing."

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Sept. 16, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 58,764 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 776 of which were newly reported Wednesday. Ninety-one of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 13 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was only 3 months old.

"We continue to see this trend, where more and more kids are testing positive. They are becoming a bigger percentage of our positivity rate for a couple of reasons," the Governor said. "One, thankfully, kids are being tested more often, and two, they are out doing more. But remember as we are making these decisions, our belief is that kids can transmit this virus as easily as anybody else."

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported eight new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 1,082 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Wednesday include a 49-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man from Christian County; a 66-year-old man from Fayette County; an 84-year-old woman from Greenup County; a 74-year-old man from Jackson County; two men, ages 68 and 83, from Montgomery County; and an 88-year-old man from Union County.

"Remember, COVID-19 doesn't care about your county line or whether you are rural or urban," the Governor said.

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 1,090,160 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 3.89%, and at least 11,043 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here. To see all recent daily reports, click here.

Information about COVID-19 and schools is also being made available. To view the reports, click here for K-12 and here for colleges and universities.

Contact Tracing Update
Mark Carter, a former health care industry executive chosen by Gov. Beshear to lead Kentucky's contact tracing efforts, provided an update Wednesday on the initiative.

He noted that contact tracing information and other material is now available at in English, Spanish, Burmese, Somali and Chinese.

"In addition to those materials, we also recommend downloading and sharing the temporary Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility One Pager, which is also available on the website," Carter said. "This includes important and timely information for residents about who can, and where to, apply for this type of Medicaid assistance."

He said nearly 400 more workers have been added to the staff since July, including contact tracers, disease investigators, regional team members and social support coordinators.

"This brings our total to 1,240 staff members who are not only trained to trace the spread of COVID-19, but to also help our local communities with the support and resources needed to successfully quarantine and monitor their symptoms," he said.

Carter again went through process that people can expect if they are determined to have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, including initial contact by their local health departments. He asked that everyone do the right thing and provide the information requested and take the steps suggested to keep themselves and those close to them safe.

"Our public health professionals at the state, regional and local levels are working nonstop to protect you. This is not easy. This is not fun. We are working through this pandemic to save as many Kentuckians as we can," Carter said. "It's on all of us to do the right thing - wear your mask, social distance as much as possible, get a test if you feel sick and if you're asked to quarantine or isolate, do it. If you need help with that, our contact tracing teams are prepared to help you."

This story was posted on 2020-09-17 07:33:55
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