“Today is a tough day in our fight against COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear. “I know we are slowing the growth of this virus in Kentucky, but it’s still aggressive. We simply need to do better.”

There were 801 new cases reported to state health officials on Saturday, the third highest one-day number, trailing only the 979 recorded on Sunday, July 19 and the 836 on Saturday, July 25. Children five years of age and younger were involved in 29 of Saturday's new cases. The pandemic total has now reached 34,578 positive cases in Kentucky.

The positivity rate also climbed over six percent on Saturday, based on a seven-day rolling average, and now stands at 6.02 percent. Beshear stated, “Our positivity rate is the highest we’ve had since we tested the entire Green River Correctional Facility back in May.”

The outbreak at Green River resulted in 417 virus cases among inmates and staff. To contain the virus's spread, officials separated inmates into housing units based on their health conditions.

Beshear also reported there were eight new deaths on Saturday, increasing the total to 772 Kentuckians lost to the virus. “Folks, we need your help. This is the time where we need to buckle down and do what it takes to get this virus under control. Please stay safe and take this seriously,” he said.

The deaths reported Saturday include a 64-year-old woman from Fulton County, a 56-year-old woman from Kenton County, a 68-year-old man from Bell County, a 93-year-old man and a 97-year old woman from Christian County, a 66-year-old woman from Pulaski County, an 82-year-old woman from Clinton County, and a 73-year-old woman from Muhlenberg County.

COVID-19 has hit us hard, but we are not powerless, said Dr. Steven Stack, State Public Health Commissioner.

“We have shown repeatedly that our individual actions will determine our future,” he stated. “Will you continue to wear a face covering? Are you keeping at least six feet distance between yourself and others? Are you washing your hands frequently? And, if you receive a call from a contact tracer, will you answer? If each of us answers ‘Yes!’ through our actions, we can keep Kentuckians safe and keep Kentucky open. Together, Team Kentucky can contain the coronavirus.”

As of Saturday, there have been at least 690,942 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. At least 8,647 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Gov. Beshear has said he plans his next press briefing on the coronavirus Monday at 4 p. m., EDT.

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