FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky has now seen a four-day decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19, the positivity rate eased incrementally, while the number of deaths rose by one.
During a Monday afternoon Capitol press conference, Gov. Andy Beshear said the number of new cases of the coronavirus reported to state officials was 231, continuing the drop that has occurred since reaching a peak of 834 on Thursday. This brings the pandemic total of positive cases to 437,543.
Only five counties were in double digits: Jefferson with 41, Trigg 14, Crittenden 13, Kenton 11, and Fayette had 10.
Gov. Beshear noted of the 231 new cases, 168 involved people 49 years of age and younger. “This is going to be a statistic we’re going to start talking about, because this virus is now hitting people 49 and younger at a much higher rate than it did before and it’s causing much more significant issues in that population, so a very significant portion of today’s report is falling in that age group.”
Kentucky’s positivity rate was 3.46%, based on a seven-day rolling average of new cases and test results. That is 0.02% less than Sunday, however it had been as low as 2.79% on April 9.
Four new deaths were reported to the state by local health departments, with the victims ranging in age from 61 to 90. Boone, Livingston, Pendleton and Shelby counties each had one.
There were also five more from the ongoing audit of death certificates, all of which occurred in December. Four of the five were nursing home residents, according to the governor, and happened just as the vaccines began being distributed.
This brings the number of Kentuckians lost due to the coronavirus to 6,347.
There were 402 Kentuckians hospitalized, up from 394 on Sunday, but still less than on Saturday’s report. There were 121 in the ICU, up from 98 on Sunday; and 43 on a ventilator, which was down three from Sunday.
The governor and State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack announced some simplification of healthy at work guidelines, which include increased capacity at larger venues like stadiums and arenas.
“We have fought really hard to get where we are, a much better place than in the fall and winter, allowing us to streamline some of our guidance,” said Gov. Beshear. “I hope people are able to enjoy some of these capacity increases. We can do so safely if we continue to wear our masks.”
Dr. Stack says their new guidance still includes such things as physical distancing, facial covers, hand washing, proper ventilation, surface hygiene, promoting telework, minimizing areas where people congregate, sanitation, and health checks.
What is new, according to Stack, “There is now a cut point for gatherings up to a thousand persons or over a thousand persons. A 60% capacity restriction is now in place for gatherings that are under a thousand, and 50% for any gathering over 1,000 persons. This is significant as graduation season is upon us.”
To see Kentucky’s full daily COVID-19 report, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, vaccine sites and availability, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, revised travel guidance from the CDC, the latest Healthy at Work guidance, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.
The governor’s next scheduled live press briefing on COVID-19 will be Thursday afternoon at 4, although his office is expected to release daily numbers on Tuesday and Wednesday.