Kentucky reports more than 20,000 coronavirus cases last week, nearly half over weekend

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky saw yet another record week for coronavirus cases, with more than 20,000 people diagnosed with the illness over the past seven days.

And with Thanksgiving on the calendar later this week, that has Governor Andy Beshear pleading with Kentuckians to follow the guidelines by wearing masks, social distancing and keeping gatherings small.

“This upcoming holiday week is a special time for all of our families, and I know everyone wants to have a normal Thanksgiving after such a difficult year,” said Gov. Beshear. “I wish more than anything that we could go back to normal safely, but we can’t. In order to protect our only line of health care workers and all of our fellow Kentuckians, keep gatherings small (eight people or fewer and two households at most), wear a mask, wash your hands and stay six feet apart.

“If we have a major surge of COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving, our hospitals will simply not have the capacity to give everyone the care they need. Nothing is worth that risk.”

The bluegrass continues to plunge deeper into the red, now with just three counties — Nicholas, Menifee and Rockcastle — not considered in the most critical level of transmission.

The latest numbers show more than 9,700 people testing positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total to more than 158,000. That number includes a new record of more than 3,800 reported on Friday.

Forty-five more Kentuckians died over the weekend, raising the death toll to 1,787.

More than 1,500 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 389 in intensive care and 208 on ventilators.

The positivity rate is 9.19 percent.