Beshear: ‘Virus is our enemy, not each other’

Andy Beshear
File Photo

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“This is the fourth highest day of positive COVID-19 cases. This is also the highest Saturday that we’ve ever had,” said Beshear. “Things are not moving in the right direction; they continue to escalate. This virus is our enemy, not each other.”

As of 3 p.m. Oct. 17, Beshear said there were at least 86,797 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 1,295 of which were newly reported Saturday. One hundred and sixty-two of the newly reported cases were from children up through age 18, of which 27 were 5 and under. The youngest was just seven days old.

“These cases are all over the place. On top of that, all of our other numbers are going the wrong way, too. More Kentuckians hospitalized and in the ICU than ever,” said  Beshear. “We know what it takes to stop these numbers from escalating. People’s lives depend on it.”

Beshear reported 12 new deaths Saturday. The total number of Kentuckians now lost to the virus is 1,312.

“That’s 12 additional families who need our support,” said Gov. Beshear.

The deaths reported Saturday include a 95-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 59-year-old man from Pulaski County; a 71-year-old man from Union County; a 90-year-old woman from Whitley County; an 85-year-old man from Boyd County; a 77-year-old woman from Boyd County; an 82-year-old woman from Daviess County; a 94-year-old man from Henderson County; an 85-year-old man from Hopkins County; a 79-year-old woman from Jessamine County; a 91-year-old man from McLean County; and a 73-year-old woman from Jefferson County.

“October is on pace to be our highest ever number of coronavirus cases reported within a month,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “We’re in the midst of an escalation in cases and our hospitalizations are increasing now, too. 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.”

As of Saturday, at least 1,794,634 tests had been administered. The COVID-19 testing positive rate, based on a seven-day rolling average, taking into account total positive tests reported by laboratories divided by total tests reported by labs, stood at 4.62%. The number of Kentuckians who are known to have recovered was at least 17,155.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here. To see all recent daily reports, click here.

Information about COVID-19 and schools is also being made available. To view the reports, click here for K-12 and here for colleges and universities.