Kentucky has topped 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time, however, Governor Andy Beshear said the state’s positivity rate actually dropped from Tuesday.
The governor reported 1,163 new cases Wednesday. A data processing glitch caused the totals from Monday and Tuesday to be artificially low. He said Wednesday’s total is artificially high but likely would have been a high number regardless.
click to download audioThe new cases put the state’s seven-day rolling average at 616, the highest since July 25. The state’s positivity rate is 5.6-percent, the eighth straight day above 5.5-percent, but dropped for the first time since Saturday.
On Monday, the governor recommended schools delay in-person classes until September 28 and begin the school year online. Several school districts, including Catholic schools in Louisville, have announced they will begin in-person classes next week in spite of the governor’s recommendation. Both University Heights Academy and Heritage Christian Academy are also starting with in-person classes next week. The governor said he disagrees with those decisions.
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During a webinar with school superintendents across the state Wednesday, Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Brown said schools would be encouraged not to open in-person before September 28 and said there would avenues available to shut them down if necessary.
click to download audioWhen asked about issuing an executive order to close schools, Beshear said it was an option but several criteria would have to be met first.
click to download audioAlso on Wednesday, Churchill Downs announced a plan that would allow the September 5th Kentucky Derby to be run before a reduced crowd of around 23,000 people and that the infield would be closed. Only tickets for reserved seats will be honored. The plan was announced two days after the governor’s school recommendation. Beshear said you can’t compare the two.
click to download audioOver 50-percent of the state’s new cases reported Wednesday come from Jefferson County where Churchill Downs is located. According to the state’s COVID-19 website, four counties — Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, and Kenton — account for nearly 44-percent of Kentucky’s total number of COVID-19 cases.
The state also announced seven new deaths ranging in age from 71 to 87.
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