LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky is entering a third surge of COVID-19 cases and the latest spike is the “most serious one yet,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday.
Newly reported cases soared in the state this week as much of the country saw a rise as winter approaches. There were 20 virus-related deaths reported in Kentucky on Thursday.
Beshear said cases will continue to climb if Kentuckians don't do a better job of wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
“We just can’t pretend like it’s not here,” Beshear said during a daily briefing Thursday. “This is our third escalation, it is our most serious one yet. It will result in the most deaths that we have seen."
Beshear reported 1,260 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a day after the state hit a new high-water mark for daily cases with 1,346. Total statewide virus cases have surpassed 84,000 since the start of the pandemic. Kentucky’s virus-related death toll reached 1,296.
Beshear continued giving virus briefings remotely Thursday while in quarantine at the governor’s mansion. He and his family were potentially exposed last weekend by a member of his security detail who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Nationwide, new cases per day are on the rise in 44 states, with the biggest surges in the Midwest and Great Plains, where resistance to masks and other precautions has been running high. Deaths per day are climbing in 30 states.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.