‘This is not a drill:’ Kentucky reports another record-high week for COVID-19 cases

Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 16:16:16-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky had another record-high week for COVID-19 cases as Gov. Andy Beshear said the state is battling a third escalation ahead of winter.

Since Nov. 8, Kentucky has seen 18,009 new cases of COVID-19, with 1,449 cases newly reported on Sunday.

The governor also reported three more virus-related deaths Sunday.

“Coronavirus is present in every corner of the commonwealth and it’s spreading at a truly alarming rate,” the governor said in a news release. “This is not a drill; this is a health emergency that we all need to take seriously. Let’s come together as Team Kentucky to defeat this virus.”

Beshear also renewed his call for Kentuckians living in 94 "red zone" counties to follow recommendations to curb the spread of COVID-19. In Northern Kentucky, that includes Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Grant, Bracken and Pendleton counties.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack echoed Beshear's concern, saying the state is on track to see another record-high week. He added that with flu season approaching, a flu outbreak in Kentucky coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic could be "disastrous" for the state.

“We have had some frightening setbacks lately and the outlook is grim,” Stack said in a news release. “I urge all Kentuckians to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask, watching your space and washing your hands. While we wait for a coronavirus vaccine, we should all be getting the flu vaccine.”

So far, Kentucky has seen 137,586 total cases of COVID-19 and 1,661 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began. More than 24,329 people who had the virus have reportedly recovered from COVID-19, and the state has now administered nearly 2.4 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations also increased over the weekend, with 1,383 Kentuckians currently in the hospital for coronavirus, 330 in intensive care units and 156 on ventilators. The state's COVID-19 positivity rate dipped slightly to 8.88% Sunday.

NKY Health reported 8,197 people across Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties have tested positive for COVID-19, and 102 people have died of the virus. The health department reports 3,351 active cases and 4,744 people who have recovered from coronavirus as of Sunday.