FRANKFORT, KY — Gov. Andy Beshear reported 4,560 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky Wednesday, as well as 47 newly reported virus-related deaths. 

"Today is our fourth highest day for number of cases that we've ever had, and our third highest day for number of deaths," Beshear said in a video message shared via social media. 

Beshear said the deaths reported Wednesday bring the state "to 2,991 Kentuckians lost. Tomorrow, we're gonna' pass 3,000. That is tragic, and losing more people, we can stop that. The death at this point is avoidable."

"We need to wear masks. We need to follow the rules and restrictions and now is not the time to pull away the authority that makes us and keeps us safe and allows us to be fluid and flexible with a virus that appears to be mutating and spreading more aggressively," Beshear said.  

To date, Kentucky has had 2,991 virus-related deaths, out of a total of 313,282 cases. 

In a news release, Beshear said Kentucky's COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 12.29% Wednesday. Currently, 1,702 Kentuckians are hospitalized with the illness, including 403 in intensive care units and 225 on ventilators. 

Beshear says he plans to give "a significant update" on the state's COVID-19 vaccination efforts. "I think it's gonna' be good news that's gonna' help us get this out faster and prepare for that time we have more vaccines and more people are eligible to receive it."