Kentucky reports more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases

Posted at 7:22 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 19:22:14-05

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Facing a continued surge of new cases of COVID-19, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday that the state’s residents should remain vigilant in following social distancing through the Christmas holiday.

“With vaccines arriving this week, we can see the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Now we just need everyone to keep doing their part to protect one another,” Beshear said.

Kentucky reported 3,179 new confirmed causes of coronavirus and 28 virus-related deaths Friday. Some 1,712 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19 and more than 2,300 have died.

The state’s test positivity rate is 8.59%, up slightly from Thursday. The positivity rate is an indicator of the extent of the spread of the virus, according to the World Health Organization. If the rate is less than 5% for two weeks and testing is widespread, the virus is considered under control.

The majority of Kentucky’s 120 counties are reported to be in the red zone — the most serious category for COVID-19 incidence rates. People in those counties are asked to follow stricter guidelines to contain the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.