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Kentucky Preparing for COVID-19 Case Surge, Beshear Says

Tuesday's COVID-19 update in Kentucky showed the state's fourth-highest increase of new positive cases so far, and according to Gov. Beshear, the state's 'highest Tuesday ever.'

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 4:34 PM

Kentucky is currently planning for a fall and winter surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Today’s report is grim. It is grim because it shows that we are not just continuing in our third escalation, but this one is probably now the second most worrisome escalation we have seen surpassed only by that original March increase,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear during his Tuesday COVID-19 update to the Commonwealth.

According to Gov. Beshear, 1,312 new positive cases of COVID-19 were identified throughout the state of Kentucky on Tuesday.

The Governor announced that due to this escalation, the commonwealth has renewed state surge preparations, including reviewing plans about the capacity in hospitals, examining possible hotel options, if needed, as well as the use of state parks. The state is also ensuring operational plans are in place to stand up a field hospital, if necessary.

"Today's COVID report has our fourth-highest ever total for positive new coronavirus cases," said Beshear. "This is the highest Tuesday ever, and it's the highest by 258 cases - it's not even close."

According to Beshear, 144 of the new positive COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday are in individuals age 18 and below.

Following Tuesday's reported increase of new positive cases, there are now 89,554 total identified COVID-19 cases throughout the state of Kentucky.

Gov. Beshear also said on Tuesday that 16 new COVID-19 deaths had occurred throughout the state. So far, Kentucky has now seen a total of1,342 total COVID-19 deaths statewide.

During his Tuesday COVID-19 update, Gov. Beshear also shared new data from the White House.

"70% of all counties in Kentucky have moderate or high levels of community transmission," Beshear read from the White House report. "That is significant."

The White House report also listed several different Kentucky counties within the 'Red Zone', two of which were Henderson County and Union County.

To be in Kentucky's Red Zone, a county must have a COVID-19 incidence rate of at least 25 new positive cases per day per 100,000 residents.

Two Kentucky counties with substantially high incidence rates rest right across the Kentucky/Indiana border, in the Bluegrass State's southwestern region.

McLean County currently shows the second-highest COVID-19 incidence rate of any county within the state, with 57.4 new positive COVID-19 cases daily per 100,000 population.

Union County is the third-highest in the state, with an incidence rate of 52.6.

In the eyes of many, there's no end to the pandemic in sight outside of a possible vaccine. The Kentucky Department for Public Health recently released a draft of a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, which discusses who would be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the state once one becomes available and why.

You can view the KDPH's full COVID-19 report for Tuesday below.

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Conditions are dry, but chilly. Winds have strengthened out of the north making it feel bitterly cold. As we head into the overnight hours temperatures will fall into the mid 20s. As winds stay gusty out of the north it will make it feel more like the teens Sunday morning under clear skies. The majority of the Tri-State will remain dry come Sunday afternoon. There is a slim chance that some of our communities across the far southern reaches of the Tri-State could see some light snowfall early in the afternoon, but it's looking like it will stay south and east of the Tri-State. We'll climb to a high temperature of 38° with sunny and breezy conditions. Gusts out of the north could reach 25-30 MPH.
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