Kentucky reported 2,302 new COVID-19 cases and 10 more virus-related deaths Friday, as the coronavirus continued to surge throughout the state. Over 1,000 people remain hospitalized with the virus.
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear also urged Kentucky's 80 counties classified as “red zone” counties to follow the state's emergency recommendations. In last week’s report, 68 Kentucky counties were on the red-zone list, due to the high prevalence of cases.
“I know we’ve been in this fight for so long that it’s easy to get numb to the scary headlines and high case numbers,” Beshear said. ”That’s normal. It’s human nature. But you have to understand this is the most dangerous COVID-19 has ever been in the commonwealth and it is leading to more of our fellow Kentuckians becoming sick, being hospitalized and dying."
Kentuckians living in counties classified as in the “red zone" are advised, under the recommendations, to avoid hosting or attending gatherings of any size. The recommendations urge employers to allow employees to work from home when possible, and noncritical government offices should operate virtually. In-person shopping should be reduced, with people opting to order online for pickup. And people are urged to avoid nonessential activities outside their home.
Kentucky set a high Thursday with 2,318 new cases.
The state's test positivity rate Friday reached 6.77%, the highest it has been since June.
The positivity rate is an indicator of the extent of the spread of the virus, according to the World Health Organization. If the rate is less than 5% for two weeks and testing is widespread, the virus is considered under control.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.