Health

Gov. Andy Beshear said he’ll issue new “mandatory” requirements on Thursday amid rising cases of coronavirus in Kentucky.

For the second day in a row, Kentucky reported a higher than average number of daily cases. The state reported its second highest one-day increase in new cases Tuesday at 371. Wednesday’s figures added another 402 cases.

To date, more than 130,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and the rate of new cases is rising in 38 states and U.S. Territories.

In a news release on Wednesday, Beshear said Kentucky also has seen larger numbers of cases over the last four to six days. The release hints at the possibility of a mandatory mask requirement, which is now in place in more than a dozen states including Texas, California, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“The rising case numbers are cause for concern, so tomorrow we’re going to announce some new requirements that are going to be mandatory,” Beshear said in the release. “Given what we are seeing across the country with exploding numbers in certain places, my commitment is to make sure that doesn’t happen here, but I can’t do it alone.”

Overall, the number of tests returning positive results is hovering around 5% in Kentucky, which is better than many other states. In Arizona, which has the country’s worst positivity rate, one in four coronavirus tests are coming back positive, according to covidexitstrategy.

Beshear’s announcement comes while Kentucky school districts are working on plans to reopen in August. It was nine days ago that Beshear reopened bars, music venues and gatherings of up to 50 people.

Medical experts say relaxed guidelines contributed to the growing number of COVID-19 cases around the country.

Kentucky also announced six deaths on Wednesday bringing the total to 608.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.