Health

As the number of coronavirus cases surge across the U.S., so do cases in Kentucky. It’s one of 31 states where cases continue to rise. 

Gov. Andy Beshear said the state is preparing for another surge in COVID-19 cases as the state saw another record-setting day for new coronavirus cases. 

Beshear called the daily COVID-19 report “grim” as he confirmed 1,312 new cases on Tuesday. It’s the highest number of cases ever reported on a Tuesday. 

He also announced 776 hospitalizations and 16 new deaths. The state’s positivity rate is just above 5 percent. Beshear said the state will prepare for the possible coming demand on hospitals.

“We are now going back to our plans about capacity in hospitals, looking — if we have to — at hotel options and the use of state parks, ensuring that we have the operational plans to stand up a field hospital if necessary,” Beshear said.

Long-term care facilities reported 44 new resident cases, 29 new staff members and nine new deaths, Beshear said. 

The governor called on Kentuckians to follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines but  did not discuss any new restrictions. For example, an advisory restricting travel to states with test positivity rates of 10% or greater, such as Indiana, is voluntary.

“The travel advisory isn’t a mandate,” Beshear said. “And what it’s supposed to tell you is first, if you don’t have to travel to one of these states, don’t. Don’t go on vacation, don’t go voluntarily unless you have to.”  

A White House report classified the commonwealth as a Red Zone, which means it has more than 100 cases per 100,000 people. The Center For Public Integrity first reported on this classification. Community transmission is considered moderate to high in a majority of Kentucky counties.

Corinne Boyer covers health issues from partner station WEKU in Richmond, KY. Previously, she covered western Kansas for the Kansas News Service at High Plains Public Radio, where she received two Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards for her reporting on immigrant communities. Before living on the High Plains, Corinne was a newspaper reporter in Oregon. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and interned at KLCC, Eugene’s NPR affiliate. Corinne grew up near the South Carolina coast and is a graduate of the College of Charleston. She has also lived in New York City and South Korea.