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Positivity stays below 5%; kids hit highest percentage: COVID

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state continued on its new “high” plateau of new coronavirus cases Thursday, but kids under age 18 hit a new high as a percentage of those new cases.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andy Beshear said he does not expect the Kentucky Board of Education to make any kind of decision when it discusses fall sports at a special meeting Friday.

On that meeting, Beshear said he was more concerned about people who had called board members making threats.

“Everybody needs to take a breath…go talk to your minister, let’s not lose our minds,” Beshear said, noting, “Facebook is spreading rumors and getting folks riled up.”

The state school board announced its special meeting Wednesday ad has said publicly it doe not expect to make any decision, especially to overturn a decision last week by the high school sports oversight board, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

The KHSAA surprised some people by going ahead with fall sports, starting with competition the week of Sept. 7.

Beshear said he had nothing to do with the meeting being called and hasn’t spoken to any board members.

“If there is going to be a meeting, what I would like to see is …some real information” be provided to parents, coaches, ad superintendents “if this is going to be a choice” for them. “Put all the information out there so we all know what we are looking at,” the governor said.

He said it is important as the state sees more cases of athletes ad teams being hit with positive cases, such as Somerset and Lawrence County in the last day.

On the new coronavirus numbers, Beshear said little has changed.

“It’s the same we’ve see in the last few weeks,” Gov. Andy Beshear said, announcing 775 new cases, of which 23 percent — 130 kids — were people under 18.

The state has had 45,978 cases confirmed.

The positivity rate was up slightly from Wednesday at 4.8 percent.

Of the new cases, several Lexington-area counties continue to see double-digit increases, including 46 in Fayette, 25 in Knox, 22 in Madison, 19 in Scott, 16 in Laurel, 14 each in Bell and Pulaski and 11 in Rowan.

The governor announced eight deaths, bringing the state’s total to 910.

The deaths reported Thursday include an 84-year-old man from Allen County; an 84-year-old man from Barren County; an 80-year-old woman from Green County; a 70-year-old man from Hardin County; a 90-year-old man from Lewis County; a 74-year-old man from Madison County; an 89-year-old woman from McCracken County; and a 75-year-old man from Warren County.

“There are still some out there claiming kids don’t get the virus or transmit the virus. Here’s what I’d tell them: there are 130 kids 18 and under on today’s report,” the Governor added. “That’s a trend we have to pay attention to. Today we’re reporting 11 high school-aged kids in Warren County. Eleven kids in one county alone. I hope that contact tracing is going fast, because that school system is open.”

Beshear said 573 people were in the hospital, 154 in ICU and 88 on ventilators.

According to Beshear, 22 additional schools across the state picked up at least one case with 26 students and three teachers statewide. Overall, the state has 85 active student cases and 31 faculty members. Among colleges, 11 new active student cases have been confirmed and one staff member.

The state has 319 active college student cases and 10 faculty cases.

For information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Information about COVID-19 and schools is also being made available. To view the reports, click here for K-12 and here for colleges and universities.

The governor also announced Danieli Corp. plans to open a 61-job facility in Ashland in one of the buildings on the former AK Steel campus.

“This area has been hit hard. We’ve seen closings of a number of plants. This project, actually in one of those former plants, is an exciting new opportunity that shows that there is not just hope, but there is a future reality with new and good jobs,” said  Beshear.

Danieli, an Italian-owned company employing more than 10,000 people globally, will refurbish, remanufacture and repair steel mill equipment in Ashland.

The new operation is scheduled to open in late 2021.

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