FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2020) – As we get closer to Halloween, Gov. Andy Beshear said many kids, including his own, are very excited about the holiday. He encouraged Kentucky families to make plans now for how to celebrate safely as COVID-19 cases rise across the commonwealth.
Kentucky is in the red zone for cases, according to the White House. There are more Kentuckians hospitalized with COVID-19 now than ever before.
“Remember, the CDC doesn’t think we ought to be trick-or-treating at all. I know kids are going to do it. I know how excited our kids are to do it, so please make your plan on how you are going to follow these steps to do it safely,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s a sacrifice, but I’d like to think it’s a small sacrifice to better protect our people, our children and our seniors.”
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) has shared guidance online to help people choose fun, low-risk Halloween activities. Among the suggestions:
- At all events and activities, wear a face covering, sanitize hands often and maintain six feet of distance from others.
- Place individually wrapped candy outside on the porch, driveway or table.
- If you plan to trick-or-treat, do so in family groups in your own neighborhood and avoid congregating in large groups.
- Consider safer alternatives to trick-or-treating, including virtual Halloween costume contests, drive-by costume or car decorating contests with judges who are social distancing or a Halloween movie or game night at your home with your family.
The full KDPH Halloween guidance is available in English and Spanish; a one-page summary is also available in English and Spanish.
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the KDPH, also updated Kentuckians that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now defines a “close contact” as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. The CDC previously defined a “close contact” as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case.
“In the state of Kentucky, if you have a high-risk exposure, we’re going to expect you to quarantine. That’s how we keep the disease low,” said Dr. Stack. “And the sad irony in this is when people disregard this, that’s when the problem gets bigger and bigger and more and more people are affected by the interventions we have to take. So if you get a call, I really urge you to follow the great example set by the First Family.”
As of 4 p.m. Oct. 22, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
- New cases today: 1,330
- New deaths today: 17
- Positivity rate: 5.30%
- Total deaths: 1,380
- Currently hospitalized: 800
- Currently in ICU: 214
- Currently on ventilator: 105
The top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Nelson, Hardin, Warren and Barren.
Those reported lost to the virus today include two women, ages 69 and 74, from Allen County; a 73-year-old man from Fayette County; two women, ages 60 and 78, from Greenup County; a 65-year-old woman from Hancock County; a 64-year-old woman from Hardin County; a 52-year-old man from Henderson County; a 95-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man from Jefferson County; an 87-year-old man from Jessamine County; a 93-year-old woman from Knott County; a 77-year-old woman from Lee County; a 76-year-old man from McCracken County; a 63-year-old man from Nicholas County; an 87-year-old man from Rockcastle County; and a 96-year-old man from Scott County.
The Governor implored all Kentuckians to take the virus seriously and shared three examples of other states dealing with preventable surges in cases and deaths. He said there is still time to prevent Kentucky from going the direction of Florida, Utah and Wisconsin.
Today, First Lady Britainy Beshear celebrated the news that Humana has partnered with Coverings for Kids to donate 100,000 reusable masks to our schools.
“This incredible display of support for our students and school staff comes at a crucial point in our fight with this virus,” said the First Lady. “Thank you for your commitment to getting these masks to our areas that need them the most right now.”
Kentuckians who want to get involved with this initiative should contact their local school district and visit firstlady.ky.gov/
The First Lady also encouraged all Kentucky families to follow the 10 Steps to Fight COVID-19, including answering the call from contact tracers and quarantining if necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, just as her family is doing.
She shared ideas for a safe and fun Halloween, including decorating your house, getting out on a walk or drive around your neighborhood to look at other people’s decorations, carving pumpkins and getting your kids involved in handmade holiday crafts and treat-making. Tag the First Lady in your Halloween fun by using the hashtag #HealthyHalloweenKY on your photos.
She highlighted Kentuckians who have been masking up to protect themselves, their families and their communities.
Finally, the First Lady shared the good news that today, the First Family tested negative for COVID-19 for the fourth time since a possible exposure on Oct. 10. They continue to remain in quarantine.
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit, kycovid19.ky.gov.
Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and summaries of the Governor’s news conferences at teamkentuckytranslations.com.