LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For the first time since the pandemic began, Kentucky has recorded more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases on three consecutive days.
The state announced 1,319 cases Friday, the second-highest since the start of the crisis.
However, hospitalizations and intensive care bed use fell on Friday, and Gov. Andy Beshear reported only four coronavirus-related deaths, the third-lowest single-day death toll this month.
Through the first six days of the week, the state has recorded 6,196 cases, which already is a record for the week. The death toll for the week stands at 51, the fourth-highest for a Sunday-Friday period.
Beshear in a news release Friday urged Kentuckians to adhere to health guidance with a greater sense of urgency.
“We need to buckle down; we need to wear masks; we need to follow that rule of no gatherings above 10 people at our homes,” he said. “We need to social distance and we shouldn’t play politics with this virus. It is real. It doesn’t matter if there’s an election a couple of weeks away.”
The governor also reported an outbreak at the Little Sandy Correctional Complex, with 17 inmates and two staff members testing positive. The state plans to test the entire facility to stop the outbreak.
A total of 85,506 Kentuckians have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began. About half the cases have occurred in people under 40 years old.
The pandemic’s death toll in Kentucky is 1,300. About half the people who have died were at least 80 years old. About three quarters were at least 70. Only 10 people under 40 have died, out of more than 41,000 cases.
The state’s overall mortality rate, or the share of people who die after testing positive, stood at 1.52% on Friday. That means one Kentuckians dies for every 66 cases. That’s significantly better than the national average, which is one death for every 37 cases.
The governor’s office said about 17,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, or about 20% of total cases.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to 667 on Friday, down from a record 738 on Thursday. The number of COVID-19 patients receiving care in the ICU was 187 on Friday, down five from Thursday, but still near a two-month high. According to a report from the Kentucky Hospital Association from Tuesday, about 28% of the state’s hospital beds and 13% of ICU beds remained available.
Nationally, more than 8 million people have tested positive, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 218,000 have died. Globally, more than 39 million people have tested positive, and more than 1.1 million have died.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, at the University of Washington, predicts that the U.S., by Feb. 1, will have lost more than 389,000 people. Globally, more than 2.4 million people are projected to have died by Feb. 1.
Kentucky’s death toll at that point is expected to be near 4,000.
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