FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says 20 more Kentuckians have died from COVID-19. The number brings the state to deaths related to the virus.
“I can’t tell you how painful it is to read 20 entries,” Beshear said. “We’re going to have a lot more days like this if we don’t do better about wearing masks, about social distancing, and about following the rules.”
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, Beshear reported 1,260 new COVID-19 cases, another of the state’s highest daily reports with two back-to-back days of more than 1,000 new cases. The state’s positivity rate is listed at 4.94%, which the governor says is the highest the rate has been in about four weeks.
“This is not moving in the right direction, and it’s up to us to stop these increases in cases, increases in positivity,” Beshear said.
Beshear also says the number of people in the hospital and ICU across the state is also rising, with 738 Kentuckians currently hospitalized and 192 people in the ICU.
“We can’t ignore it. We just can’t pretend like it’s not here. We can’t allow the fact that we are inconvenienced to make us pretend that the virus isn’t with us and isn’t deadly,” Beshear said. “Our level of compassion as Kentuckians is about how long we’re willing to do something that’s difficult.”
The governor urged Kentuckians to follow the state’s guidelines in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, reminding people the state is in a third escalation, which he says could result in more deaths than the previous escalations.
“Even if you want to claim this disease doesn’t exist or doesn’t spread, if other people think it does and they are truly afraid, be empathetic enough to wear a mask for them,” Beshear said. “Being an American isn’t about getting to refuse to wear a mask, it’s about loving your country, which means it’s about loving the people in your country.”
Health officials say the state has conducted 1,751,264 tests for COVID-19 and at least 16,928 Kentuckians have recovered.