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Death Of 9-Month-Old In Kentucky May Be COVID-Related

AP Photo/Moises Castillo

A nine-month-old child will be listed among COVID-19-related fatalities in Kentucky, but it's not clear what kind of role the disease played in the death.

The child was one of eight coronavirus-linked deaths reported Wednesday, but the state's public health commissioner, Dr. Steven Stack, said it's not known how much the virus contributed.

"In a normal world, without COVID-19, the cause of death probably would have been presumed to be SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. The case will remain open for this time while they try to better understand, but as is unfortunately often the case in circumstances like this, certainty is not possible," Stack explained.

The commissioner said the number of new cases, which has topped 200 in some recent daily reports, does not yet indicate an overall uptick in state, but it could signal another plateau.

Commenting on concerns that racial justice demonstrations could affect the trends, Gov. Andy Beshear said he believes one need not cancel out the other.

"The public is focused on really important issues that need to be addressed, but I believe thatKentuckians can do both," the governor said, pointing to the "number of masks" he's seen worn during the protests.

African-Americans represent about 8 percent of the population in Kentucky, but account for roughly 17 percent of COVID-related deaths - a disparity Beshear has pledged to address.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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