FRANKFORT, Ky. — Part of a recent and "very serious escalation" of cases in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear reported 1,786 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the highest count on a Tuesday since the pandemic began. The governor also reported 18 new virus-related deaths.
"That is 1,786 Kentuckians and their families that are worried about their health right now, and that is 1,786 Kentuckians that some portion of which will end up in the hospital, will end up in the ICU, and will end up not making it," Beshear said at his regular COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.
Kentucky has seen at least 99,637 total cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,428 deaths since the pandemic began. Kentucky's positivity rate rose to 5.97% Tuesday.
Coronavirus hospitalizations increased again on Tuesday, as 913 Kentuckians have been hospitalized for COVID-19, with 233 in intensive care units and 115 on ventilators.
So far, more than 18,045 people who had the virus have reportedly recovered from COVID-19, and the state has now administered more than 1.9 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began.
NKY Health reported that 5,860 people across Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties have tested positive for COVID-19, and 98 people have reportedly died of the virus. The health department reports 1,321 active cases and 4,441 people who have recovered from coronavirus as of Tuesday.
'Red' county recommendations
Beshear released new recommendations to "combat the surge" of recent COVID-19 cases in counties where the spread is most severe at his regular briefing on Kentucky's coronavirus response.
Those recommendations include reducing in-person shopping and using curbside pickup when possible, avoiding all informal gatherings, ordering take-out from restaurants instead of dining in, employers allowing people to work from home if possible, and operating "non-critical" government offices virtually.
"If increases continue, if communities can't get these under control, we're not ruling out additional steps," Beshear said Tuesday.
As of Monday, Bracken County is the only county in Northern Kentucky designated "red," indicating a "critical" spread of 25 cases or more per 100,000 people. Kentucky's incidence rate map is updated on Thursdays.
For schools in "red" counties, Kentucky has previously recommended switching to virtual learning and canceling extracurricular activities including sports for at least two weeks and until the county returns to "yellow" status.
Free COVID-19 testing in NKY
In Northern Kentucky, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Covington's Gravity Diagnostics offer free, appointment-only drive-thru testing at 25 Atlantic Ave in Erlanger, the former Toyota HQ building off Mineola Pike.
The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You will be able to collect your own sample without leaving your vehicle and receive results within three to five days.
Additionally, appointment-only drive-up testing is available through St. E at 7200 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria. The free testing site is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Watch a replay of the briefing in the player below: