Gov Beshear says additional measures will be necessary if COVID–19 trend doesn’t reverse by Wednesday
Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday during his daily news conference that if the state’s COVID–19 numbers did not improve by Wednesday, then additional measure would be taken to stop the spread.
While Beshear did not go into specifics, he emphasized that the measures would not be on the same level as those in March, April and May when businesses across the state were closed.
“They will be more targeted to ensure we are getting the best possible results,” Beshear said.
Beshear said 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are now on the red zone on the COVID–19 incidence map on Monday, meaning the county is averaging more than 25 daily COVID–19 cases per 100,000 population. The remaining 17 counties are in the orange zone, meaning the county is averaging more than 10, but less than 25 daily COVID–19 cases per 100,000 population.
Monroe County remains the highest with a rate of 162.3. Menifee County has the lowest rate at 11.
Whitley County’s rate is 45.3. Laurel County is 58.7. Knox County is 28.
Beshear said the state is continuing to see a marked increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases each day, noting that while it took a month from the first reported case on March 6 to reach 1,000 cases per day, it was a shorter period before Kentucky was seeing 2,000 cases in a day.
“It took a week to go from 2,000 to 3,000 cases per day,” Beshear said. “What do you think happens from here?”
Along with the number of new cases, Beshear said the positivity rate was continuing to increase, reaching 8.98 percent on Monday.
Beshear emphasized that more tests being performed could not account for the increase.
“That is the highest since May 5,” Beshear said noting the availability of testing wasn’t at the same level then as it currently is.
Beshear emphasized that with more cases, more hospitalizations, more patients in ICU and on a ventilator, more deaths are certain.
He shared an article that noted the City of El Paso, Texas, had been forced to bring in refrigerated trailers to serve as temporary morgue space because of the increasing number of COVID–19 related deaths.
While Beshear said an end may be in sight with the news that Pfizer’s COVID–19 vaccine is showing to be 90 percent effective, and Moderna’s is 94 percent, it will be sometime in 2021 before the they can be widely distributed.
“We need everybody, with this new news, to buckle down,” Beshear said emphasizing the need to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
In addition, Beshear said individuals, businesses, organizations and government entities in the red zone counties need to following the red zone recommendations.
- Employers allowing employees to work from home when possible
- Non-critical government offices to operate virtually
- Individuals reduce in-person shopping by ordering online or using curbside pickup
- Avoiding dining in restaurants or bars by ordering take-out
- Prioritizing patronizing businesses that follow and enforce the state mask mandate and other COVID–19 guidelines
- Reschedule, postpone, or cancel public and private events
- Do not host or attend gatherings of any size
- Avoid non-essential activities outside of your home
- Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance
“This could be us if we don’t continue to work hard and try to prevent further spread,” Beshear said of El Paso’s refrigeration truck morgue, Wisconsin’s field hospital being set up again, and Idaho where COVID–19 cases are overwhelming the state’s primary care.