FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear reported 776 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, fewer cases than last Tuesday. Beshear said 111 of those cases are in children 18 or younger. The governor also reported 14 coronavirus-related deaths.
"That's a lot of individuals. Each one is more than an age or a county. Each one is a special life, a special Kentuckian that we've lost," Beshear said.
Kentucky has seen at least 81,691 total cases of COVID-19 and 1,269 total deaths, and Kentucky's coronavirus positivity rate had risen slightly to 4.59% on Tuesday.
So far, more than 13,986 people who had the virus have reportedly recovered from COVID-19, and the state has now administered more than 1.7 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began.
NKY Health reported that 5,120 people across Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties have tested positive for COVID-19, and 96 people have reportedly died of the virus. The health department reports 1,107 active cases and 3,917 people who have recovered from coronavirus as of Tuesday.
White House: Kentucky in COVID-19 'red zone'
Per the latest report from the federal COVID-19 task force this week, Kentucky is in the White House's “red zone,” indicating 101 or more new cases per 100,000 people.
Additionally, 63% of all Kentucky counties have moderate or high levels of community transmission, according to the White House.
Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said that higher spread is happening in the state's rural counties. In Northern Kentucky, Boone and Campbell counties are in the orange zone while Kenton County remains yellow, indicating lower spread of COVID-19 in that area.
“We have to keep up our efforts, and keep up our work to prevent the spread of this disease to avoid the harms this causes,” Stack said.
Stack renewed his call for Kentuckians to mask up in public to protect themselves and others.
“This is not a disease you want to get. People who get it can often get pretty sick, particularly if you're older and have chronic medical problems. So I encourage you strongly, I ask you strongly, please wear a mask,” Stack said.
Coleman calls on schools to report COVID-19 cases online
As Kentucky’s K-12 school COVID-19 dashboard enters its third week online, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman reported that about 200 of the roughly 1,700 schools in the system still have not reported COVID-19 data since the launch of the dashboard.
“That is unacceptable and irresponsible,” Coleman said “It jeopardizes the health of your students, your school staff, their families and your community.”
Currently, 798 Kentucky students and 137 staff are quarantining due to COVID-19 cases in schools statewide.
“We all want our children back in their classrooms where they can learn from their teachers and be with their friends. By not being accountable to your community, you are actively impeding the ability for this to happen,” said Coleman, calling for school leaders to provide this data for parents and their communities.
Beshear family tests negative for COVID-19, continues quarantine
After announcing Sunday that he and his family are quarantining after coming in close contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, Beshear said he and his family have tested negative for COVID-19 and are not showing any virus symptoms as they quarantine.
“If it prevents others from being exposed to this virus, we are more than willing to do it. It’s about setting the example and answering the call, which we ask other people to do,” Beshear said at his remote briefing Tuesday.
Beshear said a security detail who drove the family Saturday afternoon got a positive test back late Saturday night. The governor said the security detail was the last person his family came in contact with before the start of their quarantine.
Beshear said the first family will be tested again on Friday. The security detail has "mild, flu-like symptoms" and is expected to make a full recovery, Beshear said.
Find 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: