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Gov. Beshear: Kentuckians, Communities Urged to Follow New Red Zone Reduction Recommendations

Lexington Herald-Leader

Today, Gov. Andy Beshear reported 953 COVID-19 cases in Kentucky and issued new red zone reduction recommendations to stop COVID-19 spread and protect Kentuckians in the 55 counties currently in the red zone.

The Governor said today marked the highest number of new cases ever reported on a Monday as cases are at an all-time high across the country and in the commonwealth. Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing nationally and in Kentucky.

New red zone recommendations provide direction on how communities can come together to defeat COVID-19.

“Every Kentuckian in a red zone county needs to work together to protect one another by following these recommendations,” Gov. Beshear said. “Now is not the time to give up – this is a time when more people are going to be at risk. It is a time when we need everyone to do better.”

Red zone counties are those with 25 or more average daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Red zone counties are updated daily on the incidence rate map on http://kycovid19.ky.gov

The Governor said when a county turns red, we are already asking schools to go virtual, we ask for sports to pause and we restrict visitation in long-term care facilities.

Red Zone Reduction Recommendations:

•Employers should allow employees to work from home when possible

•Government offices that do not provide critical services need to operate virtually

•Reduce in-person shopping; order online or pickup curbside as much as possible

•Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars

•Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce the mask mandate and other guidelines

•Reschedule, postpone or cancel public events

•Do not host or attend gatherings of any size

•Avoid non-essential activities outside your home

•Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance, including the 10 Steps to Defeat COVID-19

“This isn’t too much to ask to keep your neighbors and your loved ones alive,” said Gov. Beshear.

“It is not a good time to be out in public. This is the most dangerous it has been in eight months,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “The risk of you getting infected in the state of Kentucky has never been higher.”

The Governor reminded Kentuckians of existing actions and guidance his administration has taken to protect Kentuckians, including: a mask mandate; Healthy at Work requirements for bars and restaurants, businesses and retail, health care, employers, childcare and indoor and outdoor arenas; a travel advisory and an order limiting private gatherings to 10 people or less.

The administration has also implemented guidance to help long-term care facilities, correctional institutions, colleges and universities, K-12 schools, sports groups and published the 10 Steps to Defeat COVID-19.

Case Information – Monday, Oct. 26

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

•New cases today: 953

•New deaths today: 3

•Positivity rate: 5.84%

•Total deaths: 1,410

•Currently hospitalized: 858

•Currently in ICU: 253

•Currently on ventilator: 112

The top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton and Floyd.

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 75-year-old man from Garrard County; a 73-year-old woman from Graves County; and a 54-year-old man from Lewis County.

Gov. Beshear reminds Kentuckians to light their homes and businesses up green to show compassion for those lost to COVID-19.

The Governor said unfortunately there have been eight total COVID-19 deaths from the Thomas-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore. Ten patients from the facility are currently in the hospital, 51 still have symptoms and four have recovered. There have been 49 total staff cases at the facility, and 26 of those staffers have recovered.

(provided by the Office of Gov. Andy Beshear)

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