Kentucky’s mask mandate extended 30 days as hospitalizations double

Gov. Beshear provides Wednesday update on COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky reported 1,635 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, a figure Gov. Andy Beshear described as “way too many” during his afternoon media briefing.

The state also reported 11 new deaths related to the virus. Its positivity rate stands at 6.3 percent. Find the full report here.

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions are double what they were a month ago.

On Oct. 5, 563 Kentuckians were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 145 were in ICUs. As of Tuesday, 1,066 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19 and 286 are in ICUs.

“Our number of hospitalized people goes up every day. These are a lot of Kentuckians who are fighting for their lives,” said Beshear. “(...) There’s a lot of pain out there and it’s hitting everybody. We’re thinking of every family, whether we know you or we don’t. We hurt with you and we grieve with you.”

Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, mentioned Wednesday the danger is not in running out of hospital beds but in losing healthcare workers to quarantines due to community spread.

On a more hopeful note, he said the first dose of vaccines could be available in as little as a month.

COVID-19 current incidence rate in Kentucky
COVID-19 current incidence rate in Kentucky (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

>>This Week: 3rd Northern Kentucky county goes ‘red’ on COVID map | Kentucky surpasses 1,500 deaths related to COVID-19

Beshear announced Tuesday he is extending the state’s mask mandate another 30 days.

He also brought up the White House Task Force’s most recent report on COVID-19 in Kentucky, saying it “specifically endorses” actions the governor and his administration have taken to curb the spread of the virus.

Those measures include 50-percent capacities and early closures of bars and restaurants, masks mandates for students and teachers in Kentucky’s schools, and limits on gatherings with people outside your household.

The White House report also supports Kentucky’s color-coded community action plan, which provides guidance and recommendations to counties labeled ‘red’ in the Department of Public Health’s incident rate map.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.