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Kentucky Records 58 New Coronavirus Deaths, Remains On Guard For New Strain

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

Kentucky recorded a record high single-day death toll from the coronavirus Thursday, losing 58 to the virus.

While the number of deaths gave Gov. Andy Beshear pause during his regular briefing, he said other key measures — including new cases and the positivity rate — appear to be trending down. The uptick in deaths, Beshear said, reflects the most recent surge.

"This is because we have had so many cases recently as we saw that exponential growth that we were able to stop, as we've seen the post-holiday bump," he explained, before taking the time read off a complete list of the dozens lost to the virus in Thursday's report.

Raising the stakes for the commonwealth as it struggles with insufficient vaccine supplies is the specter of a new, more easily transmissible variant of COVID-19. Despite the mutation not having shown up yet in genetic sequencing in the state, the governor said top health experts warn it's likely already present.

"Certainly, (White House coronavirus response coordinator) Dr. Birx and others believe that it is here and elsewhere beased on some of the increases that they are seeing," Beshear said. "It just means that we have to be even more vigilant."

New strains of COVID-19 have been reported in neighboring states, including Indiana and Ohio. Current vaccines are believed to be effective against the more contagious variant that first emerged in the United Kingdom.


  • 3,728 new cases 
  • 58 deaths
  • 11.05% positivity rate
  • 1,604 hospitalized
  • 395 in ICU
  • 209 on ventilator
  • 250,867 vaccinated
  • 450,175 doses received
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.