FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.
“We can’t tell you how long we’re going to be fighting it, but we’re going to get through it and we’re going to win,” the governor said. “To do it and to do it right, we’re going to have to listen to and follow some wisdom such as this Chinese proverb: ‘One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.’
“We are all desperate to get back to our old lives. But if we are not patient, we put the lives of other people on the line, we put the health of our economy on the line. And we potentially threaten what we love the most – our children – and their wellbeing. At a time like this, our patience is being tested. My question is, are we going to pass that test?”
Beshear also spoke about his recent orders and guidance on openings for schools and businesses. He noted that the decisions he and others in his administration have made are based on public health and pegged to information provided by the White House. The governor noted that for the week of Aug. 8-14, the White House listed 20 Kentucky counties in the “red” zone, meaning there is a positivity rate of 10% or higher. Dozens more are in the 5-10% positivity rate “yellow” zone.
“If you add the red and the yellow counties, you are close to if not over 50% of an entire state,” the governor said. “That’s exactly the reason that we took the actions on bars and restaurants and reduced gatherings to 10 or fewer, Dr. (Deborah) Birx said we have to do it statewide. She said, ‘I can hand you this report, but when you have this many counties that are in the red and the yellow zone, you have statewide community spread that is uncontrolled – uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.’ That doesn’t mean we can’t get it under control, it just means it takes some time and we have to be patient.”
As of 4 p.m. Aug. 18, Beshear said there were at least 40,299 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 627 of which were newly reported Tuesday. Fourteen of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger, including a 1-month-old from Pike County.
“Today, this is about what we have seen on other Tuesdays, going back three or four weeks. We are announcing 627 new cases; 76 of which are in Kentuckians 18 years or younger,” the governor said. “I believe, again, first we’ve got to plateau, then we can get on that downward slope. Then we’re going to be in a much safer place to do things.”
Beshear reported 12 new deaths Tuesday, raising the total to 830 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Tuesday include a 44-year-old woman from Carter County; a 67-year-old woman from Daviess County; an 89-year-old man from Graves County; two women, ages 72 and 83, and two men, ages 72 and 80, from Jefferson County; a 67-year-old woman from Letcher County; a 75-year-old woman from Oldham County; a 72-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man from Perry County; and an 84-year-old woman from Washington County.
“Today we’ve also lost 12 Kentuckians to COVID-19. Twelve. And when you look at this report, it’s people of a number of different ages,” Beshear said. “We haven’t had a lot of days where we’ve had double-digit deaths. What we’ve suffered from are a few every single day, which is hard, but a day when we have 12 from all over Kentucky is a difficult day.”
As of Tuesday, there have been at least 770,382 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.48%. At least 9,223 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.
Reinforcing the fact that the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19 will touch most of our lives in some way, Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Beshear, spoke Tuesday about his father – 84-year-old Jess Adkins – who is recovering after falling ill from the coronavirus.
“I’m happy to report to you today that I got a call this morning from UK Medical Center that they are moving my father from the hospital to Cardinal Hill,” Adkins said. “Folks, that’s good news. And my dad is going to rehab, and after that, where we’re going to return him home.”
Adkins noted that his son who was helping his father also tested positive for coronavirus but is asymptomatic.
“I wanted to give this personal testimony today and this very personal story to hopefully reach somebody across Kentucky. First of all to tell you – by phone call or by someone – check on your neighbors. Check on your neighbor. Make sure they’re OK.
“Second of all, follow the guidelines. The protocols, the orders, all of these things that none of us may like, but appreciate and respect what’s being handed down,” Adkins said. “There will be time for debate on all of this, but I’m telling you for now, for Jess Adkins, for an 84-year-old man who will tell you as soon as he can to wear your mask, to wash your hands, to stay away from crowds, to social distance, all of that.”