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Mercer Flirts With The COVID-19 Red Zone

COVID-19 Update For Tuesday, Nov. 3

Image: Kentucky Department for Public Health

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

Mercer County is flirting with falling back into the red zone for COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the  county’s seven day incidence rate  moved up to 26.1, but it had fallen back to 23.4 on Tuesday.

In addition, the Mercer County Health Department announced 22 new confirmed cases, raising the total from 409 to 431. There are 89 active cases, with four people in the hospital, while 20 have died. The health department did not announce any new cases on Tuesday. The health department was closed because of election day.

Mercer went into the red at the end of last month, forcing local schools to cancel all sports except golf and to postpone the opening of in-person instruction.

If Mercer falls back into the red on Thursday, local leaders have been asked to follow nine recommendations, which include rescheduling, postponing or canceling public and private events.

Schools located in red zones are advised to go back to virtual instruction. Elementary students at Burgin Independent Schools returned to virtual instruction last week after a primary teacher tested positive for COVID-19. The students were scheduled to resume  in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 9.

More than 70 of the commonwealth’s 120 counties are currently in the red zone, which is determined by the incidence rate. That rate is calculated by dividing the daily average of total number of unique cases in each county over the past seven days by the U.S. census bureau county population, and multiplying by 100,000.

During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear said those school districts had not made a good decision. Beshear announced 1,795 new cases Tuesday, raising Kentucky’s total to 111,379. That is the sixth highest total of new cases since the pandemic struck Kentucky in March. According to the governor, 255 of the new cases are in children aged 18 or younger.

“We are seeing not only a surge in the virus, but more and more of our kids by percentage who are getting it,” Beshear said.

In addition, 11 deaths were announced, raising Kentucky’s death toll to 1,503, which the governor called a “grim milestone.”

The number of hospitalizations is increasing across Kentucky. The governor announced 1,037 people are hospitalized, with 259 in intensive care and 116 patients on ventilators. The positivity rate, which is based on a seven-day rolling average, is 6.24 percent

Globally, there have been over 47.7 million confirmed cases, with over 1.2 million deaths reported. According to, 34.2 million have been  listed as having recovered.

In the U.S., there have been over 9.6 million confirmed cases, with 67,428 new cases reported by press time Tuesday. So far, 237,865 Americans have died, with 871 new deaths reported by press time. According to the website, over 6.2 million are listed as having recovered.

Even as the number of cases continue to mount, there are some who call the COVID-19 a hoax. On Tuesday, Gov. Beshear said the pandemic is real.

“This virus isn’t going away the day after the election,” he said.

1 Comment

  1. Stacey Isaacs on November 4, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    K-3 are scheduled to return tomorrow, Nov 5th.
    The original date changed.

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