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Governor's Monday update: 647 new cases in the state

By Crystal Staley/Sebastian Kitchen

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

"We're going to get through this together, what appears to be our third escalation," said Gov. Beshear. "We've got to come together to do what it takes to defeat this virus. As for me and my family, we are over a week into quarantine, trying to answer the call and set an example. That's our duty as Kentuckians and as Americans."

Gov. Beshear continues to conduct news conferences remotely as he and his family self-quarantine in the Governor's Mansion after they were potentially exposed to COVID-19 on Oct. 10 by a member of the Governor's security detail.

The Beshear family continues to test negative, feels well and will remain in quarantine until cleared by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH).

Case Information - Monday, Oct. 19
As of 4 p.m. Oct. 19, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 88,247 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 647 of which were newly reported Monday. There were 81 newly reported cases from children up through age 18, of which 18 were 5 and under. The youngest was just 4 months old.

"This is our highest number of cases that we've ever seen on a Monday," said Gov. Beshear. "At a time when we need cases to be going down, when more people are going to be going inside, when our kids are going back or will be back in school, we need to do better. If we want to keep doing some of the activities that we're doing now, we need to keep doing better."

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported nine new deaths Monday, raising the total to 1,326 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Monday include an 82-year-old man from Franklin County; a 73-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 58-year-old man from Lincoln County; a 73-year-old man from Marshall County; an 83-year-old woman from Mercer County; an 85-year-old man from Owen County; a 70-year-old woman and a 93-year-old man from Todd County; and a 72-year-old man from Wayne County.

"We do more work to confirm that COVID-19 was a contributing factor to these deaths than just about any other state. This disease is devastating to each and every one of these families," said Gov. Beshear. "This virus is real and it is cruel."

As of Monday, there have been at least 1,819,333 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.97%, and at least 17,229 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.

Case Information - Sunday, Oct. 18

Due to limited reporting on the weekends, some updated information is now available from Sunday, Oct. 18.

As of Sunday, there were 1,808,639 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was at 4.56% and at least 17,196 Kentuckians had recovered from the virus.

Update from Lt. Gov. Coleman
Today, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman updated Kentuckians on the K-12 School COVID-19 Dashboard and celebrated schools that are stepping up to help Team Kentucky defeat a once-in-one-hundred-year pandemic.

"There are 1,570 schools that have reported data at least one day, which is 41 more schools that have newly reported since last week. But that means there are still 162 schools in the state that have never reported in the three weeks since we made this information public," said Lt. Gov. Coleman. "Thank you to our education leaders across the state who are doing the right thing. Kentucky families need that kind of effort and commitment from every education leader."

Update from Dr. Stack
On Friday evening, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, announced an initial, comprehensive draft plan for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to local health departments and health care organizations.

The first shipment of the vaccine is anticipated for delivery in late 2020 or early 2021 to Kentucky from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Today, Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, shared new details from that plan, including the phases for distribution outlined in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine.

"Initially, we'll have to target certain populations to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible to the people who need it most," said Gov. Beshear. "As we go forward in months from there, we'll have progressively larger quantities of vaccine, and then we're cautiously hopeful that by the time we reach the end of next year, everybody who has wanted the vaccine will have had the chance to have one.

To learn more about each phase, see page 44-45 of the state's draft COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Gov. Beshear said the timetable for making a safe coronavirus vaccine available to Kentuckians ultimately is dependent on how quickly one is developed and mass produced for distribution.

Dr. Stack also reminded Kentuckians of the new way KDPH is calculating the state's positivity rate.

"Remember, today we are changing to the calculation of laboratory positivity rate using electronic lab reports only," said Gov. Beshear.

Finally, Dr. Stack updated Kentuckians on the KDPH's travel advisory, which recommends that travelers quarantine for 14-days after visiting states with a positivity rate equal to or greater than 15%.

The states currently on that advisory are: Iowa (50.58%), Nevada (37.16%), South Dakota (36.37%), Idaho (29.63%), Wisconsin (24.30%), Wyoming (20.22%), Nebraska (18.03%), Kansas (17.41%), Mississippi (16.93%), Alabama (16.60%) and Utah (15.44%).

Today, the Governor shared the story of Ruthie Martinez, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and teacher, who passed away from COVID-19. Ruthie was only 49. She lived and taught in Lexington, and was called a "warrior" by Principal Hale of Winburn Middle School.

"We spoke to Ruthie's husband of 28 years, Miguel, who shared his wife was the most loving person and she always managed to find the good in people," said Gov. Beshear. "He laughed remembering she once said 'I don't know why, but the kids who sometimes act up always love me!' and he said it was because of her warm and supportive smile.

"Miguel said his wife was a terrific teacher and an amazing human being. She will be missed by him, their children and her grandchildren, as well as the students she impacted and all of those who loved her so much."

This story was posted on 2020-10-19 17:43:25
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