Health Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky broke yet another COVID-19 record on Tuesday. Gov. Andy Beshear reported 1,786 new cases of COVID-19 — the single highest Tuesday since the pandemic began. Beshear said he expects this week’s cases to surpass last week’s numbers when the commonwealth set a record for cases reported in a single week. 

Beshear announced 18 new deaths, 913 hospitalizations, 233 people in intensive care units, and 115 people on ventilators. The number of people requiring medical care has been increasing along with the rise in positive cases.

“Those numbers aren’t going in the right direction,” Beshear said.

Incarcerated populations in the state’s jails and prisons are still experiencing outbreaks. The virus has spread rapidly at Little Sandy Correctional Complex, in eastern Kentucky’s Elliott County, where there are 262 active cases among inmates. 

Inmates there are being kept in separate parts of the facility to control the outbreak, and so far no one at the prison has required hospitalization.

Although the COVID-19 outbreak in Elliott County is limited to a prison, Beshear said people there should follow restrictions to limit the spread.

“With that amount of virus in the facility, people coming in are getting it and people are taking it out,” he said.

Beshear urged people in counties with critical spread — more than 25 cases per 100,000 people — to work from home if possible, avoid gatherings of any kind, and limit shopping trips. 

“We believe this is the most surgical way to reduce numbers,” Beshear said, defending the steps the state has taken to minimize the spread of the virus. But he added, “We’re not ruling out additional steps.”