LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As Kentucky reported its fourth-highest daily COVID-19 case total on Saturday, the state's virus-related hospitalizations remained near a record high, as well.
"Things are not moving in the right direction; they continue to escalate," Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release announcing the new cases. "This virus is our enemy, not each other."
Six hundred and ninety-one Kentuckians were hospitalized Saturday with COVID-19, and 185 of those patients were in ICUs, according to a report from Kentucky Public Health. On Thursday, the state reported single-day records in both categories: 738 hospitalizations and 192 patients in intensive care units.
"These cases are all over the place. On top of that, all of our other numbers are going the wrong way, too," Beshear said in a news release. "More Kentuckians hospitalized and in the ICU than ever."
Kentucky health officials reported 1,295 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday — the fourth-highest daily report since the pandemic began and the fourth day in a row the state has reported more than 1,000 new cases.
Out of the new cases reported Saturday, 295 were recorded in Jefferson County.
Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky's public health commissioner, said the state is on pace to set a monthly record for new COVID-19 cases in October.
"We’re in the midst of an escalation in cases and our hospitalizations are increasing now, too," Stack said in the news release. "As the holidays approach, it’s imperative to limit further spread. Practice social distancing, wear a face covering and practice good hand hygiene to reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19."
On Saturday, the state's positivity rate, which is based on a seven-day rolling average of positive tests, dropped slightly from 4.70% on Friday to 4.62%.
Beshear also reported 12 new coronavirus-related deaths Saturday, including a 95-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman from Jefferson County. Since March, 1,312 Kentuckians have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
As of Saturday, at least 17,155 Kentucky residents are known to have recovered from the respiratory disease.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.