Gov. Andy Beshear announced 792 new COVID-19 cases and eight new deaths in Kentucky on Friday. The state’s case total is up to 46,757 and the death toll is at 918.

The rate of people testing positive remains below 5 percent, at 4.5 percent, which Beshear called “good news” in a written update.

“If we keep wearing these masks and we keep doing the work, we can get this to a manageable level to get our kids back in school and get back to more of our old lives,” he said.

The number of new cases at Kentucky colleges and universities continues to climb. On Friday, 175 students and five staff were newly positive. The majority of the new student cases — 118 — are at the University of Kentucky. Union College reported 26 new student cases, seven are at Morehead State University, and six are at Transylvania University. Just over 481 students are actively infected, 333 of whom are at UK.

Fourteen percent of Friday’s new infections are in kids and teenagers under the age of 18, Beshear said. At K-12 schools, 14 more students and 9 staff have tested positive. Four of the new student positives are affiliated with Fayette County Public Schools, which has the most active cases overall, at 18. In total across the state, 99 students and 40 staff actively have the virus.

At nursing and assisted living homes, 32 additional residents and 31 staff have contracted the virus.

At least 860,738 tests have been administered. There are 572 people hospitalized with the virus and 158 in intensive care.

Friday’s deaths include a 58-year-old woman in Taylor County; a 69-year-old woman in Barren County; a 73-year-old man in Union County; and a 92-year-old man in Warren County.

Alex Acquisto covers health and social services for the Lexington Herald-Leader and She joined the newspaper in June 2019 as a corps member with Report for America, a national service program made possible in Kentucky with support from the Blue Grass Community Foundation. She’s from Owensboro, Ky., and previously worked at the Bangor Daily News and other newspapers in Maine.
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