Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear reported an increase in coronavirus cases in Kentucky on Thursday but said the outbreak might be leveling off after the state was hit by a surge earlier this month.

Kentucky posted 659 new virus cases, up from 619 reported Wednesday, the governor said. Total statewide cases surpassed 29,300 since the pandemic began.

The state’s positivity rate — reflecting the average number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 — was down, Beshear said Thursday.

While Kentucky remains in a “danger zone,” the newest trends indicate the state has significantly slowed the spike in cases that occurred earlier in July, the Democratic governor told reporters.

“We believe what we are generally seeing is a leveling off or at least a significant decrease in the overall escalation of the virus,” he said.

Beshear reported seven more virus-related deaths Thursday in Kentucky.

The governor continued to stress compliance with his mask mandate — one of several steps he's taken since the re-escalation of cases.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness and be fatal.

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