Coronavirus numbers remain stable, Myrtle Beach example of problems erupting


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state’s coronavirus numbers remain “manageable,” state officials said Wednesday, but they cited “hotspots” such as Myrtle Beach, S.C., that demonstrate how fast things can go from good to emergency.

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the state has identified two likely clusters tied to travel to Myrtle Beach in the last month.

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IN one case, of 12 people who went there, nine have tested positive for the Coronavirus. A secnd cluster is still being analyzed and a third person who visited there has tested positive.

On May 15, Myrtle Beach opened its hotels and opened attractions on May 22. On June 11, the mayor of Myrtle Beach declared a state of emergency.

On June 17, West Virginia issued a warning after detecting several clusters of the virus tied to travel to Myrtle Beach.

“We aren’t to the point of restricting or banning travel, but this shows what can happen,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during his daily briefing.

“We continue to urge and beg folks to wear masks and practice safety,” Stack said. “This is not the time to be cavalier. Not being safe is the fastest way to create a problem for ourselves.”

Beshear announced 229 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 14,363 since March 6. He reported one new death, an 89-year-old man in Laurel County. The state has lost 538 people to the virus.

A total of 3,706 people have reported recovering, although that number is low because it relies on people reporting in which isn’t required.

The state has confirmed 368,152 tests. A total of 335 people are in the hospital and 79 are in ICU, which is slightly higher than recent days. But it is not yet cause for concern.

“We still have almost 50 percent of our hospital bed capacity available and plenty of ICU and ventilator capacity in case we start seeing a surge,” Beshear said.

Of the new cases, 40 are in Fayette, 32 in Jefferson, eight in Shelby, six in Laurel, and smaller numbers in many Eastern Kentucky counties, including Pulaski, Whitley, Clark, Jackson, Clay, Madison, Mason, Montgomery, Scott, Boyle, Anderson, Fleming, Knott and Knox, among others.