FRANKFORT, Ky. — Tuesday, the Governor said community, long-term care and school leaders and administrators, as well as Kentucky families in red zone counties, should prepare a weekly COVID-19 reduction plan based on each Thursday’s incidence rate map.
Thursday’s red zone map, published on kycovid19.ky.gov, provides communities and families time to plan and accommodate the new red zone reduction recommendations and other existing guidance, including for schools, the following week (Monday through Sunday).
The Governor said schools already follow the Thursday map for when a county enters the red zone.
“If you’re in a red county, anything you don’t need to do, don’t. Stay home as much as possible,” Gov. Beshear said. “Schools shouldn’t be the only ones that are taking these steps. When you coordinate these two responses, the schools and the community together, we can get the best result.”
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
- New cases today: 1,786
- New deaths today: 18
- Positivity rate: 5.97 percent
- Total deaths: 1,428
- Currently hospitalized: 913
- Currently in ICU: 233
- Currently on ventilator: 115
The top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, Kenton, Hardin and Pike. A list of today’s red counties can be found here.
Those reported lost to the virus today include a 99-year-old woman from Christian County; a 79-year-old woman from Henderson County; a 70-year-old woman from Hopkins County; three women, ages 79, 82 and 86, and five men, ages 62, 62, 70, 88 and 93, from Jefferson County; two men, ages 96 and 97, from Jessamine County; a 76-year-old man from Nicholas County; a 72-year-old man from Ohio County; two women, ages 77 and 91, from Scott County; and a 72-year-old woman from Wayne County.
Gov. Beshear reminds Kentuckians to light their homes and businesses up green to show compassion for those lost to COVID-19.
Louisville Firefighter’s COVID-19 Battle Shows Importance of Masks
Today, Kelly Alexander, the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s chief of staff, spoke about her 40-year-old husband Josh’s harrowing battle with COVID-19. Prior to COVID-19, Josh was extremely healthy and loved hiking and the outdoors. With COVID-19, he couldn’t even talk without being short of breath or suffering from a coughing attack. Thankfully, Josh is now out of the hospital and at home, but he is not out of the woods yet. He still is fighting pneumonia in both lungs.
“The coronavirus affects everyone differently. But one thing is certain. This is not something you want to spread to others and it is not something you want to watch your loved ones suffer from,” said Alexander. “These are not just numbers. These are people. These are husbands, mothers, fathers, family, friends, and neighbors.”
Due to work schedules, Alexander was not exposed and has been away from her home since early in October.
J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Executive Cabinet, reminded Kentuckians that from the outset of the pandemic, all correctional facilities enhanced sanitation and hygiene, suspended visitation to keep staff and inmates safe and initiated staff screening for COVID-19 symptoms every day upon entry. Inmates were provided with additional free phone calls and emails to keep them connected to family and friends. He also shared that cloth masks for inmates and staff were provided in early April and have been supplemented to ensure the inmates have a fresh one available at all times. When a positive staff or inmate case has occurred, the correctional facility has worked with the Kentucky Department for Public Health to conduct contact tracing, run additional tests and separate the prison population into distinct housing units if necessary.
Currently, there are 263 active inmate cases and 20 active staff cases in state prisons. There have been 1,164 total inmate cases and 194 total staff cases; sadly, 13 inmates and two staffers have died of COVID-19.
Today, Gov. Beshear recognized Bobby Rorer, a husband, father, grandfather and Kentucky World War II veteran tragically lost to COVID-19. Bobby was one of the residents at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, where he passed away separated from his family.
“Bobby was a hero to our people, joining the army at just 16 years old after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He never met a stranger. He loved getting out, meeting new people and sharing stories. So much so that after retiring from a long career in government and volunteerism, Bobby could often be found at Walmart daily where he would go to just sit and talk to people. They even offered him a greeter position,” said Gov. Beshear. “Most of all, he will be missed by his wife Dana, whose name he called during his final days. Dana, we are praying for your entire family.”
Today, Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Gov. Beshear, highlighted $6.6 million in Appalachian Regional Commission grants for 13 projects in central and eastern Kentucky communities that will update infrastructure, bolster education, spur economic development and diversification, improve workforce training, improve health care and build a better Kentucky.
Adkins also celebrated nearly $13 million in funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to 14 cities and 29 county fiscal courts. The awards will fund 196 projects repairing and improving streets and roads across the commonwealth. To learn more about these two funding announcements, see the full releases here and here.
Next, Adkins shared that AgriTech company AppHarvest has begun construction on its third high-tech greenhouse in Central Appalachia, this time in Berea. The project will create 60-full time jobs. He also noted that UPS is re-opening its facility in Harlan County, which will bring back 20 jobs that left the county in 2016.
Finally, Adkins implored Kentuckians to wear masks around people from outside their household, including while they vote. Masks are more crucial than ever as the weather gets colder and families spend more time indoors. Wearing a mask is the number one thing people can do to save lives and to get their counties out of the red zone.
“It’s your time to have your voice. It’s your time to play your part by voting,” said Adkins. “And put your mask on while doing it. Let’s whip this terrible virus.”
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit, kycovid19.ky.gov.
Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and summaries of the Governor’s news conferences at teamkentuckytranslations.com.