FRANKFORT, – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s worst ever COVID-19 report by virtually every measure. He reported more than 4,000 new cases and 35 new deaths. Nearly 250 Kentuckians are fighting for their lives on ventilators.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Today is the very worst day we have had for reporting on the spread of the coronavirus and it is the deadliest day that we have had,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is exponential growth. If we don’t all do our part, if we try to be the exception, then slowing down this thing won’t work and we will lose a lot more Kentuckians we love and care about.”
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
- New cases today: 4,151
- New deaths today: 35
- Positivity rate: 9.59%
- Total deaths: 1,943
- Currently hospitalized: 1,777
- Currently in ICU: 441
- Currently on ventilator: 241
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, McCracken, Warren, Kenton, Hardin, Daviess and Boone. Each county reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 700.
The red zone counties for this week can be found here. Community leaders, businesses, schools and families in these counties should all follow red zone reduction recommendations, as well as other orders and guidance.
Those reported lost to the virus today include a 70-year-old man from Boyd County; a 75-year-old man from Calloway County; an 82-year-old man from Christian County; a 96-year-old woman from Daviess County; a 95-year-old woman from Graves County; two women, ages 79 and 86, and two men, ages 57 and 66, from Grayson County; a 93-year-old woman from Henderson County; an 87-year-old man from Hopkins County; six women, ages 61, 64, 76, 77, 77 and 80, and seven men, ages 62, 64, 64, 66, 72, 73 and 94, from Jefferson County; a 62-year-old woman from Jessamine County; a 76-year-old man from Kenton County; a 79-year-old woman from Marshall County; a 66-year-old woman from Mason County; two men, ages 59 and 64, from McCracken County; an 88-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man from Monroe County; a 65-year-old man from Montgomery County; a 93-year-old woman from Robertson County; and an 82-year-old man from Union County.
Mark Carter, Cabinet for Health and Family Services policy advisor, also updated Kentuckians on contact tracing in Kentucky and how they can protect themselves, their families and their community.
Carter highlighted important successes: Over 1,600 contact tracing staff in the state have now completed 215,000 daily check-ins with COVID-19-positive Kentuckians to monitor symptoms and provide support. They have also contacted more than 47,000 people identified as contacts potentially exposed to the virus.
However, he also emphasized the need for greater public cooperation and renewed federal funding.
“The public health strategy for contact tracing depended on broad public participation – cooperating with the local health departments when a tracer calls, wearing masks, social distancing and testing,” Carter said. “We simply haven’t had enough participation from the public and the resulting surge has overwhelmed contact tracing capacity.
“Another challenge is that federal funds from the CARES Act have made the statewide contact tracing and tracking information management system and surge staffing possible, but Congress has not taken any action on additional stimulus legislation to date. Currently, Kentucky and all other states are required to use all CARES Act funding by Dec. 30, 2020.”
CARES Act Funding for Local Governments
The Governor announced that the Kentucky Department for Local Government is releasing an additional $50 million in CARES Act funding to reimburse city and county governments for expenses related to COVID-19. Approximately 200 cities and counties are eligible because they have already exhausted their original allotment and have remaining eligible reimbursements.
To apply, eligible local governments will follow the Department for Local Government’s original application process, which is outlined on its website.
“Our local governments have been lifelines in our communities during the pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear. “When this $50 million is depleted, which we believe will be within the month, we will need more help from the federal government.”