NKY region a bright spot as Kentucky struggles with rising cases

NKY region a bright spot as Kentucky struggles with rising cases
The White House's map of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 over the past week shows Northern Kentucky's counties with a moderate-to-low incidence of the virus. (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky is on pace to top last week’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases after 1,018 new cases were confirmed Tuesday.

Of those cases, according to Gov. Beshear, 157 are kids under 18 and 303 are from students at colleges and universities.

The latter figure is due in part to the aggressive testing programs in place at Kentucky’s colleges and universities, Beshear acknowledged, but he added he remains concerned about the case levels being reported there.

Eight new deaths were reported statewide as well. Kentucky’s positivity rate stands at 4.24 percent.

Northern Kentucky’s counties are a bright spot for the state. All except Owen County are ‘yellow’ in Kentucky’s incident rate map, meaning they have fewer than 10 daily new cases per 100,000 people on average over the last seven days.

The White House’s maps, contained in its weekly report on Kentucky, confirms NKY’s low prevalence of COVID-19.

Hamilton County has reported 6.5 new daily cases per 100,000 people on average over the last 14 days.

Meanwhile, in Jefferson County, where Louisville is located, the seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 people stands at 20.7. In Fayette County, where Lexington is located, the rate is 22.3.

Kentucky's county incidence rate map for Sept. 29.
Kentucky's county incidence rate map for Sept. 29. (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

Still, statewide Kentucky continues to be “hot,” Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD.

One day after the governor warned Kentucky could be at the beginning of another case escalation, he said Tuesday’s numbers bear that out.

“The fall has the potential to be the most dangerous time we’ve seen in Kentucky, and it doesn’t have to be,” Beshear said. “We know there is a vaccine in our future, we just have to get to the point where we can prove it’s effective and deploy it to enough people. So, the question is are we willing to do what it takes to protect each other during that time. I think the answer is yes, but we’ve got to prove it.”

To that end, Beshear again called on Kentuckians to do the steps that have been proven to work: masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, symptom monitoring and the like.

“This ought to be a wakeup call,” he said. “We can’t let this thing get out of control because we’re tired.”

It’s a sentiment Stack reiterated when he noted every country that has gotten “lazy” against the virus has seen a spike in cases.

“If we take our eye off the ball, we’re going to get in trouble real quick,” Stack said.

Driver’s Licenses

Tuesday Beshear announced he will extend a renewal option for Kentuckians with driver’s licenses that are due to expire.

“This renewed executive order allows people to renew their driver’s license by a drop box or by mail,” he said. “You still have to renew it by one of those fashions through February 2021. Now it doesn’t automatically extend, so make sure that either by that drop box or by mail you get this done.”

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