Health

Kentucky reached another milestone in the pandemic over the weekend. The state has surpassed 300,000 total cases of COVID-19.

The milestone arrived as the state legislature passed several bills that would curtail the governor’s powers during emergencies. In a message released on Saturday, Gov. Andy Behsear made clear his feelings on efforts to limit his powers during a pandemic. 

“This is not the time to hamper our ability to fight a deadly virus,” he said. 

The bills are now sitting on Beshear’s desk. He has 10 days to sign or veto the legislation before it becomes law.  

Kentucky reported 3,232 cases of COVID-19 Sunday and 25 new deaths. Sunday’s daily case totals have declined from the record highs seen last week, but Kentucky still ranks among states with the fastest growing numbers of new cases.

On Saturday, the state surpassed 300,000 cases for the first time. For perspective, that’s nearly the population of Lexington.  

The positivity rate now stands at 12.45%, the highest it’s been since May. However the Governor’s Office reports a significant decrease in testing from laboratories over the holidays. As a result, more tests came from healthcare facilities where primarily symptomatic patients are tested, perhaps artificially inflating positivity rate. 

Four of Kentucky’s 10 health care regions are now reportedly nearing capacity in their intensive care units. 

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