Governor Beshear’s Monday Update on COVID-19

Frankfort, KY – Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.

“July was the toughest month, with the largest number yet of overall positive cases. Unfortunately, that will have negative ramifications for August,” the Governor said. “We find we often lose Kentuckians several weeks after they test positive. That means we are likely to have a larger number of deaths in August.”

Despite this, Gov. Beshear said, there is reason for optimism.

“The numbers are telling us that facial coverings and masks are working,” he said. “We were facing what looked like exponential growth. In order to see our cases go down, we had to slow the increase. That’s why the mask mandate was necessary. If we had done nothing, by now, we would have been seeing 1,000 new cases every day, but instead we are seeing the increase drop off.”

To reinforce the effectiveness of wearing a face covering, the Governor unveiled MaskUpKY, a new statewide public service campaign aimed at encouraging the use of masks by everyone in the commonwealth, along with a new hashtag – #MaskUpKY – to promote facial coverings on social media.

“We know that if we can get the majority of Kentuckians to wear a mask when you go in public, we can make a major difference,” Gov. Beshear said. “If we want to get our kids back in school, reopen our economy, keep each other safe and get to a new normal, we need every Kentuckian to wear a mask or facial covering. It’s that simple.”

The Governor said that over the next couple of months, Kentuckians are going to be hearing from a number of their fellow citizens about the importance of wearing a mask.

He showed one of several new public service announcement featuring his simple message: Don’t put it off. Put it on.

“When we are united in this fight, we are protecting ourselves, each other and our state’s economy,” he said. “Do it for Team Kentucky.”

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said Kentuckians’ willingness to comply with the mandates is working.

“I think we have a lot to be proud of in Kentucky. It’s been hard and taken a real toll on us, but the evidence shows that we have done a good job from a medical standpoint,” Dr. Stack said. “We now appear to have flattened the curve again. We can see that taking the right steps and doing it consistently works. We hope to see the curve stay flat, and go back down again.”

Case Information – Monday, Aug. 3
As of 4 p.m. Aug. 3, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 31,508 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 323 of which were newly reported Monday. Twelve of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger, including two 3-month-olds from Jefferson County.

“Again, there are lots of different reasons to wear a mask,” the Governor said. “So how about wearing a mask for those two 3-month-olds or any of those children under 5.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported two new deaths Monday, raising the total to 744 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Monday include a 99-year-old man from Calloway County and a 75-year-old man from Floyd County.

“While we’re moving in the right direction on cases, trend-wise we’re going to have a tough month ahead in terms of Kentuckians we have lost,” the Governor said.

As of Monday, there have been at least 642,577 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.18%. At least 8,335 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.