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'Kentucky is in a critical situation.' State sets weekly record of new COVID-19 cases

The state has confirmed 11,774 total cases of COVID-19 this week, including 1,423 cases and four deaths reported Sunday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This is a weekly blog with daily updates on COVID-19 numbers and other related content in Kentucky for the week of October 26, 2020. Governor Andy Beshear is scheduled to give live updates Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m

Sunday, November 1

“If you’re not alarmed by these record numbers of COVID-19 cases, you should be.”

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky has set a record for new weekly cases of the virus than any other since tracking the pandemic began in mid-March.

The commonwealth has started off the month of November with 1,423 new cases of the virus. That brings the weekly total of COVID-19 cases to 11,774.

“I know we’re tired, but if we do not get the spread of this disease under control, we risk a darker, more deadly period this winter than we ever experienced in the spring,” Beshear warned.

Jefferson County is one of many red zone counties and among 5 counties with the most positive cases reported Sunday with 300.

Gov. Andy Beshear continues to urge counties in the “red zone” to follow the state’s 9 recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid being in the red zone.

Four deaths were reported which include a 64-year-old man from Jefferson County and a 72-year-old man from Bullitt County.

Hospitalizations in the Commonwealth continue to see an uptick. At press time, 994 people are currently hospitalized with 250 in intensive care – about 136 people are currently on a ventilator.

Department for Public Health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said indicators are telling them what they hoped to avoid – "Kentucky is in a critical situation." He said the spread of the virus is accelerating at a dangerous pace.

Kentucky has confirmed a total of 108,642 cases of COVID-19 and 1,489 deaths.

There is also limited reporting on Sunday so much more information is expected to be released on Monday.

Saturday, October 31

5:30 p.m.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in the Commonwealth as Gov. Andy Beshear reported the second highest numbers the state has seen since the pandemic began.

The governor reported 1,986 new cases Saturday and this also marks the highest ever number on this day and it’s on track to be the single largest week of cases.

Nine new deaths were reported, bringing the overall total of Kentuckians lost to the virus to 1,485. Among those lost include a 76-year-old Jefferson County man.

Kentucky’s current positivity rate is 6.10%.

The state has confirmed a total of 107,219 of positive cases since March. 

Friday, October 30

Governor Andy Beshear reported 1,941 new cases of COVID-19. According to the state's daily COVID-19 report, there have been 105,242 cases overall. 

The state's test positivity rate is 6.19%

“Remember, the more cases, the more people in the hospital, the more people in the ICU and the more people who die,” said Gov. Beshear in a release. “It’s time for a coordinated community effort with everybody on board. Now is the time for leadership, not for excuses.”

Fifteen more deaths related to the virus were reported. Those include an 88-year-old woman from Clark County; an 83-year-old man from Daviess County; two men, ages 39 and 89, from Fayette County; an 82-year-old man from Greenup County; a 68-year-old man from Hancock County; two men, ages 66 and 67, from Jefferson County; a 75-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man from Knott County; an 84-year-old man from Laurel County; a 91-year-old man from Lee County; an 86-year-old woman from Montgomery County; a 69-year-old man from Pike County; and an 67-year-old woman from Washington County.

Gov. Beshear and State Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack urged Kentuckians to stay safe and use caution this Halloween as cases continue to rise.

“With nearly 70 counties now in the red zone, I am pleading with you to observe both Halloween and Red Zone Reduction Recommendations. Lives and livelihoods literally depend on all of us doing our part," Dr. Stack said in a release.

RELATED: Here are the recommendations for a safe Halloween in Kentucky amid the pandemic

Thursday, October 29

Governor Andy Beshear reported the highest number of new cases on a Thursday, and the third-highest number of new cases ever reported in a single day.

The governor announced 1,821 new cases reported for Thursday with a total of 101,494 Kentuckians infected.

The top counties with the most positive cases today are Jefferson, Fayette, Hardin, Kenton, and Warren.

A total of 331 cases were reported in Jefferson County. The positivity rate is 6.04%.

Nineteen more people have been lost to the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,462. 

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 68-year-old man from Adair County; a 75-year-old man from Calloway County; a 93-year-old man from Casey County; an 81-year-old man from Daviess County; a 65-year-old man from Fayette County; two women, ages 83 and 88, and two men, ages 88 and 90, from Jefferson County; a 73-year-old man from Jessamine County; a 72-year-old man from Lee County; a 61-year-old woman from McLean County; an 80-year-old woman from Meade County; a 71-year-old man from Muhlenberg County; a 68-year-old woman from Rowan County; a 58-year-old man from Russell County; a 68-year-old woman from Shelby County; an 87-year-old woman from Warren County; and an 89-year-old woman from Whitley County.

Gov. Andy Beshear urged every Kentuckian in 68 red zone counties to up their game in the fight against COVID-19 and follow nine recommendations beginning Monday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 8, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as cases flare in those areas.

“This is a type of outbreak where we can’t deny our way out of it, we can’t rationalize our way out of it, we can’t try to find excuses for not following the guidance,” said Gov. Beshear.

The Governor said that new White House guidance suggests “current transmissions are linked to home gatherings,” where Americans are not as likely to wear masks around people from outside of their household. With broad community spread and transmission in the state, the Governor said it is crucial that communities work together to follow these new recommendations on top of existing requirements.

Wednesday, October 28

Governor Andy Beshear reported 1,864 new COVID-19 cases with a total of  99,637 Kentuckians infected.

The top counties with the most positive cases today are Jefferson, Fayette, Hardin, Nelson, Pike, Kenton, and Warren.

The positivity rate is 6.07%.

Fourteen more people have been lost to the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,428. 

Those reported lost to the virus today include an 83-year-old man from Boyd County; an 80-year-old man from Breathitt County; a 61-year-old woman from Christian County; a 95-year-old woman from Fayette County; a 93-year-old woman and a 91-year-old man from Henderson County; an 87-year-old woman and three men, ages 70, 80 and 81 from Jefferson County; two women, ages 80 and 82, from Kenton County; a 64-year-old woman from Knox County; and an 85-year-old woman from Lee County.

The Governor announced a new testing project today with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the state sees record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Up to 200 tests tomorrow and 300 tests each day after are available to Kentuckians at the Kentucky Exposition Center – Lot C in Louisville, from Oct. 29-31 and Nov. 2-6.

An additional testing location in Lexington will be announced soon and will open Nov. 16. Kentuckians can expect PCR test results within two or three days. Each patient receiving a test gets a pack of five cloth face coverings provided by HHS. Kentuckians can register for a test now here.

Tuesday, October 27

4 p.m.

Governor Andy Beshear reported 1,786 new COVID-19 cases with a total of 97,866 Kentuckians infected.

Jefferson County had 379 new cases.

The top counties with the most positive cases today are Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, Kenton, Hardin, and Pike.

Eighteen more people have been lost to the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,410.

Those reported lost to the virus include a 99-year-old woman from Christian County; a 79-year-old woman from Henderson County; a 70-year-old woman from Hopkins County; three women, ages 79, 82 and 86, and five men, ages 62, 62, 70, 88 and 93, from Jefferson County; two men, ages 96 and 97, from Jessamine County; a 76-year-old man from Nicholas County; a 72-year-old man from Ohio County; two women, ages 77 and 91, from Scott County; and a 72-year-old woman from Wayne County.

The positivity rate is 5.97%.

Monday, October 26

4:20 p.m. 


List of red reduction recommendations for counties that are labeled 'red zone' counties :

  • Employers allow employees to work from home when possible
  • Non-critical government offices to operate virtually
  • Reduce in-person shopping – order online or curbside pickup
  • Order take-out – avoid dining in restaurants or bars
  • Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce mask mandate and other guidelines
  • Reschedule, postpone or cancel public or 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 including 10 steps to defeat COVID-19

4:09 p.m.

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced 953 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky. This is the highest total number of cases reported on a Monday due to the limited reporting from the weekend.

Jefferson County had 331 of the new cases.

The governor said the third escalation of the coronavirus is faster than the previous two with more people hospitalized and stays in the intensive care unit.

Three more people have been lost to the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,410.

The positivity rate is back at 5.84%

858 people hospitalized

253 in intensive care

112 on ventilators

Kentucky currently stands at 97,866 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since tracking began in March. 


Gov. Andy Beshear also issued a travel advisory to the following states: Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, Alabama, Nevada, Wisconsin, Kansas, Utah, South Dakota, and Wyoming. 

The state is recommending a 14-day self quarantine for travelers who went to any of those states reporting positive testing rates equal or greater than 15% for COVID-19 testing. 

Credit: Kentucky.gov
States on Kentucky's new COVID-19 travel advisory


Governor Beshear and his family announced they are out of quarantine now.

They were quarantined after one of their driver's tested positive for COVID-19 two weekends ago.

None of the family tested positive for the virus but wanted to take precautions for those around them. 

Governor Beshear says they have tested negative multiple times and says wearing masks at the time of contact helped. 

Highlights from the week of October 19:

  • As of Sunday, Oct. 25, Kentucky has confirmed 96,942 positive cases since tracking began in March.
  •  1,407 Kentuckians have died from COVID-related illnesses from the virus. 
  • JCPS will be rescheduling this week's games due to the surge in Jefferson County which has put the area in the White House's red zone.

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