FRANKFORT, Ky. – As of 4 p.m. Oct. 14, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 83,013 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 1,346 of which were newly reported Wednesday. One hundred and seventy-one of the newly reported cases were from children up to age 18, of which 34 were age 5 and under. The youngest was just 2 months old.
This was the most coronavirus cases reported in Kentucky in a single day that didn’t include a backlogged set of cases, as happened recently when some Fayette County case numbers were added.
Seven new deaths were reported Wednesday, raising the total to 1,276 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Wednesday include a 76-year-old man from Boyd County; a 76-year-old man from Bullitt County; a 49-year-old woman from Fayette County; a 78-year-old man from Franklin County; an 82-year-old woman from Henderson County; a 76-year-old man from Jefferson County; and an 81-year-old man from Webster County.
The Governor also said two Kentucky veterans who were at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore were among those who died from COVID-19.
“They were at the Lexington VA,” he said. “Those are now the second and third veterans in our nursing homes who we have lost. It’s another reason to make sure we’re doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus.”
As of Wednesday, there have been at least 1,718,621 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.72%, and at least 16,756 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here. To see all recent daily reports, click here.
KCHIP Sign-Up and RISE Awards
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman spoke Wednesday about health care for children as well as awarding excellence in education.
“We believe health care is not a privilege, an add-on to sweeten a job offer, a luxury or a convenience. Health care is a right for every Kentuckian,” the Lieutenant Governor said. “That is especially true for children.”
She urged eligible families to sign up for the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, or KCHIP, by visiting kidshealth.ky.gov or calling 877-KCHIP-18, or 877-524-4718.
Lt. Gov. Coleman, who also serves as secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, also spoke Wednesday about Kentucky’s participation in the U.S. Department of Education’s RISE Award, which stands for Recognizing Inspirational School Employees.
The award honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service to students.
“We are asking for nominations from parents, students, schools, school districts and non-profit organizations,” she said. “We are looking for nominees who demonstrate excellence in leadership, commitment and community involvement.”
Nominations can be made by visiting education.ky.gov. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 16.
Finally, Lt. Gov. Coleman thanked everyone who has participated in First Lady Britainy Beshear’s Coverings for Kids program, which provides school districts across the commonwealth with a supply of face masks for students. She noted that while the program is ending at the end of October, there is still time to take part.
For information and instructions on making masks, visit firstlady.ky.gov/coveringsforkids.
Dr. Stack Update
Dr. Steven Stack, KDPH commissioner, provided more detailed information Wednesday about the state of the coronavirus in the commonwealth and testing issues.
He encouraged residents to take advantage of more than 300 testing locations throughout the commonwealth, which can be found at kycovid19.ky.gov. Dr. Stack also highlighted new partnerships in some areas that need service.
“One of the central missions of public health is to try to help make sure underserved and disadvantaged individuals have access to health care just like everybody else,” Dr. Stack said.
The new testing sites include: Purchase District Health Department, serving McCracken, Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman and Fulton counties, at PurchaseHealth.org; Ashland-Boyd Health Department, serving Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Lawrence counties, at ABCHDKentucky.com; the Kentucky River Health Department, serving Lee, Wolfe and Owsley counties at KRDHD.org; and Lincoln Trail Health Department, serving Hardin, Meade, LaRue, Nelson, Marion, Washington, Breckinridge and Grayson counties at LTDHD.org.
Dr. Stack also reminded everyone that, beginning next week, Kentucky will change the way it calculates the positivity rate. Going forward, Kentucky will use COVID-19 PCR tests that are sent in electronically to make the calculation.
“PCR tests are the gold standard – those are the most reliable – for finding active disease in currently infected people,” Dr. Stack said.
Dr. Stack said there were four main benefits to moving to using the PCR tests to calculate the positivity rate: automated collection of data, a more stable data stream, filter for the past seven days and a quick turnaround on testing results.
Gov. Beshear emphasized that the change will not take place until next week to give everyone – hospitals, state officials, media and citizens – enough time to analyze and ask questions about the move before it happens.