Gov. Beshear discusses new coronavirus cases, vaccine at daily briefing

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gives a daily update on the coronavirus situation in the state on March 18, 2020. The update is available live on Facebook and Youtube. 

Leo Bertucci

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,514 new positive COVID-19 cases in the state on Monday, which is the second highest reported total ever reported on a Monday. The state reported three new coronavirus-related deaths on Monday. 

Warren County reported 22 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

There are 1,442 Kentuckians currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, which Beshear said was the highest ever since the pandemic began. Three hundred and sixty people are in the ICU, which is also the highest ever reported. There are 128 Kentuckians who have COVID-19 currently on a ventilator. 

Kentucky’s COVID-19 positivity rate is currently 8.98%, which is the highest rate since testing became “widely available” in the state, according to Beshear.

One hundred and three of Kentucky’s 120 counties are currently in the red zone, according to the state’s COVID-19 current incidence rate report. Warren County is one of the red zone counties.

“We, right now, are suffering from avoidable loss,” Beshear said. “If we all get back to doing the right things to protect one another then somebody doesn’t have to lose their mom or dad, their brother or sister, or even their kids.”

Beshear said that even though the success rates of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials are encouraging, Kentuckians should still be cautious at this time.

“If we can just get to the point where this vaccine will be widely available, we can make sure we don’t lose people,” Beshear said. “This is now a time-limited virus. Let’s keep working hard.”

Beshear said that he will announce on Wednesday the restrictions that the state is considering if Kentucky’s COVID-19 situation continues to worsen. 

Leo Bertucci can be reached at [email protected]  Follow him on Twitter @leober2chee.