FRANKFORT (KT) – On Wednesday, Kentucky saw its largest number of new COVID-19 cases in six months, with 2,583 reported to state public health officials.

“That’s the most since February 3, when vaccines weren’t available to many parts of our population,” Gov. Andy Beshear in a Facebook video.  “We have more people in the hospital with COVID, in the ICU, or on a ventilator, than we have since February.  Our positivity rate is now over ten percent, at 10.08%, the highest since January 24.”

Wednesday’s new cases bring the total in Kentucky to 490,399, since the first case was reported in Harrison County on March 6, 2020. 

In addition, 87 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are now in the red zone, meaning their COVID-19 incidence rate is at least 25 cases per 100,000 population.

“We are not moving in the right direction,” Beshear said, “And remember, with more cases come more deaths.  We have 10 more deaths we are announcing today, including a 21-year old from Daviess County.”

Those ten deaths make it 7,362 Kentuckians who have lost their lives during the pandemic.

“This is serious,” the governor said.  “The delta variant is real, and we have to be willing to do what it takes.  Folks, you need to get vaccinated.  Things will get worse before they get better, but we can fight this, we can reduce the loss and the damage, if you’re willing to get vaccinated.”

He also said Kentuckians need to be wearing masks indoors, when away from their homes.  “That means all of us.  My recommendation is no matter where you are in Kentucky right now, if you’re going indoors with people outside of your home, put on that mask again.  Not forever, it’s just for now, it’s temporary.  But with 2,583 new cases and 10 new deaths, it’s something we need to do.”

Beshear will update the COVID-19 situation in Kentucky on Thursday afternoon at 12:30 (ET).  It can be viewed on his Facebook and YouTube pages.