FRANKFORT, KY — Gov. Andy Beshear reported 2,085 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky Monday, as well as 21 newly reported virus-related deaths.
Beshear noted that the previous week saw that highest number of new cases ever reported in Kentucky, with 26,799 cases reported. "Holiday gatherings appear to have significantly increased the spread of the coronavirus," Beshear said, also noting that the new strain of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — has been reported in neighboring Indiana. That variant, which public health experts say is not more deadly but is more contagious, was first reported in the United Kingdom. Beshear said that strain has not yet been identified in Kentucky, but indicated that it is another reason for individuals to take every precaution they can to protect themselves from the virus by wearing masks, maintaining 6 feet of social distance from others, and following all state and federal guidelines.
"Every time we let our guards down, COVID finds a way," Beshear said, pointing to the spike in positivity rate the state has seen recently as well.
As of Monday, Kentucky's positivity rate for COVID-19 test results is 12.35%. Additionally, Beshear noted that 119 of Kentucky's 120 counties are in the red zone — meaning the virus has reached a critical rate of spread in those counties. Hickman County is the only Kentucky County not in the red zone Monday. It's in the orange zone, which means the virus is spreading at an accelerated rate.
Currently, 1,709 Kentuckians are hospitalized with the potentially deadly illness, including 381 people in intensive care units and 207 on ventilators.
To date, Kentucky has had 305,707 cases, including 2,922 deaths.