Kentucky’s COVID surge continues, but some parts of state hit worse than others

Gov. Beshear provides Thursday COVID-19 update - VOD - clipped version

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - The COVID case surge continues in Kentucky, and Thursday’s death total was high as well.

“Fall is here, and winter is coming,” Gov. Andy Beshear warned. “This is the time where we either succeed or fail.”

Kentucky reported 1,260 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday. The state’s positivity rate of 4.94 percent is the highest it’s been in four weeks, Beshear said.

The report also contained 20 new COVID-19-related deaths.

Wednesday’s case report contained 1,346 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day total ever.

Kentucky remains on track to set a record for weekly cases after three consecutive weeks of seven-day case records going back to the end of September.

COVID-19 patients hospitalized (738) and in ICUs (192) statewide are up from Wednesday and represent record highs since at least Sept. 1.

Some 92 Kentuckians are on ventilators, down from 113 Wednesday, though part of that reduction is explained by the high mortality figure.

The western part of the state is getting hit the hardest, Beshear says.

Northern Kentucky remains comparatively stable, according to the state’s incident rate map, though rates are rising in nearly every county in the region.

Two weeks ago, all counties in the region were ‘yellow’ indicating a fewer than 10 new cases per day per 100,000 residents on average over the last seven days. Now several counties have moved into ‘orange’ status.

Kentucky's county-by-county incident rate map for Oct. 15.
Kentucky's county-by-county incident rate map for Oct. 15. (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

“We can’t ignore it,” Beshear said. "We can’t pretend it’s not here. We can’t allow the fact that we are inconvenienced to allow us to pretend the virus isn’t with us or isn’t deadly.

“Our level of compassion as Kentuckians is about how long we are willing to do something that is difficult.”

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