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Beshear to discuss plan for lifting virus restrictions in Monday briefing

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky dropped substantially on Saturday, while the number of deaths and the state’s positivity rate both rose.

There were 505 new cases reported to state public health officials on Saturday, compared to 704 on Friday. That increases the overall number of positive cases of the coronavirus to 432,720 since the first one was reported on March 6, 2020.

Ten counties were listed as having a dozen or more new cases: Jefferson 81; Fayette 22; Warren 21; Kenton 15; Green and Trigg 14; Montgomery 13; and Boone, Daviess, and Laurel each 12.

Some labs are closed or don’t report results during the weekend, which is one reason why the Saturday and Sunday numbers are often lower than on weekdays.

There were ten new deaths in reports that come from local health departments, while another eight are the result of the ongoing audit of death certificates dating back to last fall. The ages and locations of victims were not available. There have now been 6,241 deaths in Kentucky since the start of the pandemic.

The state’s positivity rate, which is based on a seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 tests versus positive cases, climbed to 2.99% on Saturday, up from the 2.79% reported on Friday, but still remaining below the three percent mark, albeit barely.

There were also 370 people hospitalized due to the coronavirus on Saturday. Of them, 92 were in the ICU and 48 on a ventilator. All three figures represent a decrease from Friday.

Gov. Andy Beshear says you can expect to hear from him next week about what it will take to lift some of the restrictions that are currently in place.

“We’re going to be talking about a goal that we can shoot for, which if we hit, we can remove any capacity restrictions for the event up to 1,000 Kentuckians,” he stated. “We can get to that point where, while we still may be needing to wear masks, whether it’s our restaurants, our bars, our offices, and the rest; we can get back to that 100% capacity. It is all dependent on how quickly and how many people we can vaccinate.”

To see the state’s full daily COVID-19 report, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, vaccine sites, and availability, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, revised travel guidance from the CDC and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

The governor’s next scheduled press briefing will be Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. when he is expected to discuss what is needed to lift the capacity restrictions. His office is also expected to send out the daily numbers on Sunday.