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Kentucky reports 825 new COVID-19 cases Saturday; UK cases up

Jeanine Kowalik, Lexington, Ky., a swabber with Wild Health prepares to test a student for COVID-19 at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Testing will be available for all students between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Aug. 22.

Alex Slitz

Kentucky reported 825 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, the state’s fourth-highest single-day total since the pandemic began, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Kentucky’s total cases now stands at 47,577, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The positivity rate as of Saturday was 4.59 percent.

Three more deaths were reported Saturday, bringing the total lives lost in Kentucky to 921. The three people whose deaths were reported Saturday were all from Lincoln County and included an 86-year-old woman and 81- and 94-year-old men.

The new cases reported Saturday included 145 children ages 18 and under. Of those, 15 were children ages 5 and under.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Saturday reported the city’s second-highest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

Lexington had 119 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the city’s total to 5,520, according to the health department. It was the third day in a row that the city reported more than 100 new cases.

There were 76 new cases among University of Kentucky students.

“We are continuing to see a rise in cases among University of Kentucky students, with 654 total cases,” according to a tweet from the health department. “This includes testing from multiple sources and not just the specialized on-campus testing done by the university.

“Our numbers are for UK students who are Fayette County residents and is not a total of all cases at the university. A student who tests positive is considered a Fayette County resident if they live in Fayette Co already or elect to stay in Lexington during their isolation.”

Students who commute from other counties or go back home for isolation are not included.

There have been 55 deaths among Fayette countians. No new deaths were reported in Lexington Saturday.

In Saturday’s news release, Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s public health commissioner, warned that celebrations surrounding the upcoming running of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, as well as Labor Day, could lead to a spike in cases.

“Now is the time to consider how you will celebrate Oaks, Derby and Labor Day in a way that allows you to share time with others while respecting the required masking and social distancing protocols,” he said.

Stack said there was “a noticeable spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases” after Memorial Day and July 4.

“Please, let’s show we can learn from the other holidays,” he said. “Let’s not slip and lose progress against our fight against the coronavirus.”

The city’s highest one-day totals are:
• 131 cases, Aug. 7
• 119 cases, Aug. 28⁰• 116 cases, July 27
• 112 cases, Aug. 27
• 105 cases, Aug. 4, Aug. 14
• 102 cases, Aug. 26
• 101 cases, Aug. 13⁰• 100 cases, July 23

— Lexington-Fayette County Health Department (@LFCHD) August 29, 2020

This story will be updated.

Herald-Leader higher education reporter Rick Childress contributed to this report.

Karla Ward is a native of Logan County who has worked as a reporter at the Herald-Leader for 18 years. She covers breaking news.

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