FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear reported 2,318 new coronavirus cases in Kentucky, the highest daily count of new cases the state has seen over the course of the pandemic. On the same day, 80 of the state's 120 counties moved into the "red" zone on its COVID-19 incidence rate map, indicating "critical" spread.
On Oct. 7, Kentucky had reported 2,398 coronavirus cases, but that total included 1,472 "historical cases" backlogged over at least a month out of Fayette County. On that day, the state reported 926 new cases.
The governor also announced 20 virus-related deaths on Thursday, including one person from Carroll County.
"Today again shows a concerning escalation that means we just need more out of everybody," the governor said at his remote briefing Thursday.
Kentucky has now seen at least 115,277 total cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,534 deaths since the pandemic began. The state's seven-day positivity rate rose again to 6.5%.
Hospitalizations also continued to increase, as 1,102 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, with 291 in intensive care units and 129 on ventilators.
On the same day that Kentucky broke its daily case record, 80 counties moved into the "red" on its COVID-19 incidence rate map, indicating "critical" spread in those areas.
Across the 80 "red" counties, including Boone, Kenton and Campbell in Northern Kentucky, the state recommends moving schooling online and asks Kentuckians living there to limit their contacts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Those recommendations go into effect Monday through next Friday.
So far, more than 20,304 people who had the virus have reportedly recovered from COVID-19, and the state has now administered more than 2.1 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began.
NKY Health reported 246 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, its highest daily number since the beginning of the pandemic.
In Northern Kentucky, 6,801 people across Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties have tested positive for COVID-19, and 99 people have reportedly died of the virus. The health department reports 2,260 active cases and 4,442 people who have recovered from coronavirus as of Thursday.
How Kentucky spends CARES Act funding
Beshear also broke down how Kentucky has spent $1.6 billion in CARES Act funding, awarded in spring which must be spent by Dec. 31.
The governor said by the end of the year, $219 million will have been spent on personal protective equipment (PPE), coronavirus testing, contact tracing and public awareness -- things Beshear said are essential to curbing the pandemic's spread.
Roughly $700 million will go to state, county and city governments to purchase PPE, compensate first responders and for santizing, testing and telework expenses. Another $46 million has been allocated to local health departments.
Another $298 million went to unemployment insurance and benefits, with $33 million in additional aid allocated for Kentucky's eviction relief fund, utility relief fund and meals for seniors program. Long-term care facilities will receive a total $102 million before the end of the year.
Find a breakdown of the rest of the funds below.
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: