Just this past week, Kentucky broke three records of new positive COVID-19 cases, setting the record to 3,303 cases on Saturday, and bringing the positivity rate close to 9%. Kentucky now totals at 139,246 reported coronavirus cases, an increase of 43% compared to the previous two weeks. Since Kentucky first came into contact with the coronavirus back in March, 1,740 people have died from the virus.
This comes at no surprise either, considering Kentucky has been breaking records every single week this past month. But, Kentucky isn’t alone in record-breaking. On Friday, The United States set a record of more than 184,000 new cases in a day.
On the bright side, however, Kentucky hospitals have not yet reached full capacity and are supplied with enough PPE and ventilators to care for the record number of patients with COVID-19.
Currently, Governor Andy Beshear has released a set of red zone reduction recommendations for Kentucky counties with more than 25 cases per 100,000 people, including Jefferson Country. If these recommendations are not taken, and case numbers don’t decrease, Beshear announces that more reduction methods against COVID-19 will be taken in the future.
“If we don’t see those steps being done and ultimately see those numbers coming down, we are going to have no choice but to take additional steps as we move forward,” Beshear said.
Beshear has also released new health guidelines. All Kentucky public and private schools will shut down in-person schooling effective next Friday until the end of the fall semester.. Beshear has also set new health guidelines on restaurants. All indoor dining at bars and restaurants is closed. Indoor gatherings are limited to eight people (about two families), and all offices are subject to only 33% capacity for their employees.
This is not, and will not be, a shutdown. Our economy is open. But today we are announcing significant, but surgical and targeted steps designed to slow the spread of the virus and protect our people. https://t.co/WKgIXkLSfB pic.twitter.com/ADzRxbxGxv
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) November 18, 2020
The surge of coronavirus cases is most likely due to the combination of large gatherings and the reluctance to wear masks. This is evident in the continuous debate over mask mandates, as seen in the recent battle between Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Beshear’s coronavirus executive orders before the Kentucky Supreme Court. Along with Cameron, several business owners who argue that mask mandates deter customers from buying from them also disagree with Beshear’s rules.
As COVID-19 infects more and more people, in-person school for JCPS students remains unlikely. So, if it wasn’t clear before thousands of Kentuckians were reporting positive for COVID-19 daily, it should be easy to see now that we should not forget that there is still a pandemic going on, and it’s just not safe to go about life like that isn’t true, or else life will never go back to how it was before quarantine.