Kentucky cases continue to rise as more testing available
By Greg Bird
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kentucky as the state is seeing more testing become available. As of Wednesday morning Kentucky reported 3,192 total confirmed cases of the virus, with 171 deaths associated. That total is an increase of 901 cases over last week and 49 additional deaths.
In the Lake Cumberland Health District cases grew from 109 on April 14 to 136 on April 21, an increase of 27. The total deaths in the 10-county district increased from four to eight in the same time span.
McCreary County has had one additional case in the last week, bringing the total to 10 cases, but only five are considered active. Reports that one case is involving a health-care worker in a local nursing home have not been confirmed as officials from the Health District have refused to verify the claim. Calls to the administration of the nursing home for comment have not been returned despite multiple efforts. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services does not have any facility in McCreary County listed as one of the 53 nursing homes in the state with reported cases.
As more states are considering at least partially lifting restrictions on closing businesses, including Tennessee, Governor Andy Beshear outlined his benchmarks that must be met before Kentucky follows suit.
Those benchmarks include: 14 days where cases are decreasing, increased testing capacity and contact tracing, more PPE availability, more ability to protect at-risk populations, the ability to social distance and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on large gatherings, better preparedness for a possible future spike of cases and the status of a vaccine and treatment.
Numbers in Tennessee continue to eclipse Kentucky, but our southern neighbor has also had significantly more testing of its citizens.
According to the latest data from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s office, as of Wednesday morning there have been 7,394 confirmed cases in the Volunteer state, which resulted in 157 deaths. Governor Lee also states 188,182 tests have been conducted, which is nearly five times more than Kentucky. According to Governor Andy Beshear only 33,228 Kentuckians have been tested as of Wednesday. One of the Governor’s benchmarks for re-opening the state is increasing testing.
This week saw several free testing sites open across the commonwealth, including one in Pulaski County. The sites offered a limited amount of tests, and is reportedly only the first phase of more testing offered through the state.
Across the United States the total of confirmed cases and deaths associated to the virus has risen since last week. The CDC reports 826,240 cases as of Wednesday and 45,373 deaths. The number of deaths have nearly doubled in the past seven days, growing by 19,312. The number of individuals reportedly recovered has grown as well by about 25,000, up to 75,519.