FRANKFORT – (KT) More good news on the COVID-19 front in Kentucky on Monday as new cases, deaths and the state’s positivity rate, all continued their decline.

A total of 294 new cases were reported to state public health officials.  That was 22 less than Sunday, and down 102 from last Monday.  This raises Kentucky’s total number of positive cases during the pandemic to 416,610.

There were only four counties reporting more than 10 cases: Jefferson had 108, Knox 18, Warren 12, and Madison 11.

The number of new deaths that were reported as having gone through the entire system on Monday was 11.

Last week, Gov. Andy Beshear said an audit found 604 more deaths between November and the end of January, when the surge was at its peak.  Because of that audit 50 more historic deaths were added to the list on Monday, making it a total of 5,799 Kentuckians who have been lost due to the coronavirus, since the first death took place in late March 2020.

“We continue to work to make sure that we have no unknown soldiers, that every family who is grieving is recognized, as we come out of the worst pandemic of our lifetime that we know it’s true toll,” Beshear said.

The latest victims ranged in age from 67 to 91.  Two of them were from Franklin County; while there was one each in Carter, Crittenden, Fulton, Harrison, Hickman, Kenton, Letcher, Marshall and Perry counties.

The state’s positivity rate dropped to 2.93%, based on a seven-day rolling average.  This is the lowest figure since at least last July, marking the second day in a row below 3%.   

The governor commented on the progress made in the outbreaks at long-term care facilities across the state, where at one point, 67% of Kentucky’s deaths came from those centers.  On Monday, there were only two new resident cases and five among staff members, and visitations have resumed.

“This progress depends on us,” he said.  “As these facilities reopen their doors, they need us, everybody else in Kentucky to sign up for the vaccine.  Individuals who don’t get the vaccine and then visit loved ones in these facilities, run the risk at a later point of spreading it and ultimately causing us to lose out on our gains and to lose more people.”

Hospitalizations also saw a drop on Monday.  There were 434 people in the hospital due to COVID-19.  Of them, 95 were in ICU and 63 on a ventilator.

“We’ve come too far and we’ve lost too much to mess this up now, so please continue to wear your masks until we get everybody vaccinated,” Beshear said. “And if you’re thinking about not taking the vaccine, think harder. Think about all the individuals you can protect. Think about how much they need your help to ensure we can continue what we see today, of fewer and fewer cases and fewer and fewer losses.”

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

Beshear’s next scheduled press briefing on COVID-19 will be Tuesday afternoon at 3 CDT.  It can be seen on both his Facebook page and YouTube channel.

(By Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)